Career City Index: The Best Cities to Live and Work

Career City Index Thumbnail

Where should professionals set their sights for a prosperous career? The Robert Half Career City Index offers a comprehensive overview of the top 25 cities in the United States, based on 25 diverse indicators that measure and influence career choices. The indicators are separated into the following four categories:

  • Career Prospects
  • Quality of Life
  • Cost of Living
  • Cultural Diversity


Which City best fits you? Find out with the city comparision tool

Which city best fits you? Find out with the city comparison tool

Select the areas of the most importance to you to see the best match for you form the 25 cities compared in the report.

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Quiz: Top cities for your career Thumbnail

Quiz: Top cities for your career

Do you know what makes the top cities the best places to live and work? Test your knowledge.

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Top 10 career cities Infographic

Infographic: Top 10 career cities

See how 10 major cities stack up in terms of career prospects, quality of life, costs and culture. Job seekers can discover the city that offers the career opportunities and lifestyle choices they seek. Hiring managers can learn how their city’s appeal compares with that of other cities — an insight that’s valuable when trying to recruit top talent from around the country to their companies.

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Overall Rankings Infographic
Career Prospects Ranking Infographic

Overall Rankings

Rank City Score
1 Seattle 56.7
2 Boston 53.4
3 San Francisco Bay Area 51.6
4 Washington, D.C. 51.2
5 Raleigh 50.9
6 Dallas 50.2
7 Salt Lake City 49.8
8 Denver 49.2
9 Houston 49.0
10 Des Moines 48.1
11 San Diego 46.0
12 Phoenix 45.7
13 New York 45.1
14 Minneapolis 44.4
15 Atlanta 43.8

Career Prospects Ranking

Rank City Score
1 San Francisco Bay Area 74.7
2 Seattle 72.1
3 Washington, D.C. 63.5
4 Boston 61.1
5 Salt Lake City 57.4

Quality of Life Rankings

Rank City Score
1 Pheonix 62.0
2 Boston 54.9
3 Cincinnati 54.2
4 New York 54.1
5 Raleigh 53.1

Cost of Living Rankings

Rank City Score
1 Seattle 72.4
2 Indianapolis 67.5
3 Houston 67.4
4 Dallas 64.3
5 Salt Lake City 61.3

Cultural Diversity Rankings

Rank City Score
1 Los Angeles 63.9
2 New York 57.0
3 San Francisco Bay Area 53.3
4 Washington, D.C. 43.5
5 San Diego 41.6

For the full list of category rankings, download the Career City Index report above.



The Robert Half Career City Index ranks and compares 25 U.S. cities across 25 indicators selected to measure different aspects of career development opportunities, quality and cost of living, and cultural environment. The indicators are organized into four distinct categories: Career Prospects, Quality of Life, Cost of Living and Cultural Diversity.

Working with Robert Half, an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research team created the Index framework, selected the final set of indicators, gathered internal and external data, analyzed and scored the data, and built the Index. Between indicator selection, data validation and allocation of category weights, the research team aimed for objectivity and robustness, relying on existing city-level research and data to construct the Index. Download the report for the full project methodology.