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U.S. City Tiers

Saw this online and wanted to repost:

Tier 1: The "four corners" of the United States: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. Plus San Francisco and DC.

Tier 2: Cities that are respectable, but the best go to Tier 1 cities for the higher income. Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, Nashville, San Diego, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Portland, Phoenix, and Minneapolis.

Tier 3: Cities that are nice, friendly, you can easily pull six figures and have a nice work-life balance: Cincinnati, Louisville, Des Moines, Orlando, Little Rock, Boise, Austin, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City.

Tier 4: Once great but high crime and corruption have ruined them. New Orleans, Detroit, Baltimore, Memphis, Las Vegas, Newark, and El Paso.


by Anonymousreply 114Last Wednesday at 2:52 PM

If this is about getting the highest income, then your list is completely ridiculous and bears no relationship to reality.

by Anonymousreply 109/03/2020

[R1] Agreed - the most glaring example being Boston.

by Anonymousreply 209/03/2020

Here's a global perspective.

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by Anonymousreply 309/03/2020

Where's the Research Triangle Area?!

by Anonymousreply 409/03/2020

I agree that OP needs to define terms better. Is it just income? Income and work-life balance?

And can I easily pull 6 figures in Boise? Was Newark ever a "once-great city"?

by Anonymousreply 509/03/2020

Tier 4 sounds like the ones orange turd doesn’t like!

by Anonymousreply 609/03/2020

What tier is Youngstown, OH in? How far into the triple digits do these tiers go?

by Anonymousreply 709/03/2020

What about Barstow, CA? Or Pahrump, NV? I’m sure there’s a six figure career for me there?

by Anonymousreply 809/03/2020

This list is dated. Millennials are moving out of cities like Chicago and cities in the Northeast with the exception maybe Philly IIRC the data I’d read. The numbers in Boston are skewed due to the universities there. This migration is mostly due to job prospects and cost of living. Millennials and younger Gen-X are moving to cities like Denver, Austin, Houston, Charlotte...

The trend is that many of these big cities like Chicago will go the way of Detroit in the next decade, unless improvements can be made to prevent people from leaving. If not then the best case scenario is to have what we have here in SF. That is income disparity where only wealthy professionals can afford to live in the city and surrounding suburbs. Middle class driven out and poor people renting in the bad neighborhoods.

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by Anonymousreply 909/03/2020

R9 I agree, but in general I feel the list is an accurate portrayal of professionals and their work-life balance. I also hear Detroit is going under some changes for the better and is trying to gain momentum.

I know a lot of younger professionals are also moving to Memphis.

by Anonymousreply 1009/03/2020

This is the stupidest thing I've read all morning, and I was just reading about Melania's email oopsies.

by Anonymousreply 1109/03/2020

NYC is in a class of its own.

by Anonymousreply 1209/03/2020

Some of the "nice" cities in Tier 3 aren't all that nice now. Austin is overrun and overpriced. Oklahoma City and Des Moines are pandemic Pandoras.

by Anonymousreply 1309/03/2020

R9 - bullshit. Detroit's decline is exactly attached to being a one-industry town along with no rapid transit infrastructure and extreme white flight.

Chicago is one of the least expensive big cities in America.

While I'll agree many 2nd tier cities are seeing explosions - Austin, Denver and Nashville come to mind - it's not a planned expansion. They're not keeping up and it's becoming a traffic-snarled mess. They just keep building further and further out - which isn't the best for a city.

Dense cities with good infrastructure and rapid transit are what is needed. Not more suburban sprawl as far as the eye can see.

by Anonymousreply 1409/03/2020

Completely random list created to be a Facebook meme

How is Little Rock in the same "tier" as Cincinnati, Kansas City, Orlando and even Austin?

by Anonymousreply 1509/03/2020

Is Houston even a tier 1 city in Texas? Only someone from Houston would compare it to NYC.

by Anonymousreply 1609/03/2020

Memphis indeed has it's problems, but millennials are pouring in and there is a lot of new growth in the inner city and in the suburbs. Houses that even 2-3 years ago were going for under $175,000 are now going for almost double that.

by Anonymousreply 1709/03/2020

I thought they closed all the Pier Ones.

by Anonymousreply 1809/03/2020

R14 Austin does have metro rail that extends to the nearby suburbs. It’s people who choose to take their cars and complain about traffic, that’s the problem. People who complain about sitting in traffic are also those who are not receptive to taking public transportation when that is an option. I have a friend who moved from SF to Austin 3 years ago, he’d bought a house in Cedar Park which is a suburb next to Austin about 29 minutes away. He takes the metro rail into Austin where he works for UT.

by Anonymousreply 1909/03/2020

[quote]Chicago is one of the least expensive big cities in America.

That's my impression, certainly. In that respect it seems a great city in that money goes very far relative other cities in real estate. Certainly there are very expensive properties there (and there are vast areas I would not want to live in at any price) but you can live in comparative luxury for less than in other major cities, and even less than in some smaller, less desirable cities where less supply and more demand drives up prices. There's a fairly huge stock of good quality housing in good, established neighborhoods. Real estate taxes are a big topic but they don't seem scandalous, especially relative the bargain of the property itself.

R3's list starts reasonably enough and then gets a bit complicated. My city of about 750K, usually considered second tier within European rankings but by this ranking its status is "Sufficiency"—which surely raises more questions than answers.

by Anonymousreply 2009/03/2020

[quote]Tier 4: Once great but high crime and corruption have ruined them. New Orleans, Detroit, Baltimore, Memphis, Las Vegas, Newark, and El Paso.

Corruption didn't ruin them. Corruption BUILT them!

by Anonymousreply 2109/03/2020

The tier 2 list truly merits a ROFL. What a list of hellholes.

by Anonymousreply 2209/03/2020

Work and salary prospects aside, don't ignore the fact that San Francisco, Philadelphia, Honolulu, Chicago and New York are underwater/bankrupt bigtime according to Truth in Accounting and Forbes. New York City alone has per capita total liabilities of -$64,100 per person.

by Anonymousreply 2309/03/2020

The list at R3 seems realistic and based on research.

OP's list was designed to be an internet meme, likely a right wing one, given the implications of the description of "Tier 4" and the inclusion of Houston is "Tier 1"

by Anonymousreply 2409/03/2020

OP missed Madison, which is not only a beautiful city, but has also seen tons of millennials moving in and has become big-time high-tech.

by Anonymousreply 2509/03/2020

[quote]Tier 1: The "four corners" of the United States: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

Houston? That's adorable.

by Anonymousreply 2609/03/2020

Detroit was never a great city. Even during its peak years it was fairly small. And it wasn't crime and corruption that ruined it, it was race-driven urban planning that deliberately drove white residents into the suburbs via redlining that transformed the city into a ghetto. A subtle distinction I know, but blaming it on "crime and corruption" makes it sound like "it was THOSE people who ruined it," which it fucking wasn't.

by Anonymousreply 2709/03/2020

Chicago being affordable doesn’t mean much if the good-paying jobs are stagnant when compared to cities with above-average or high job growth. That, coupled with high rates of crime are what’s driving families away. Again, compare Chicago’s violent crime rates with other growing cities. Against Denver, Chicago has more than 1/3 more violent crime rate, and Chicago has more than double the violent crime rate as Austin.

by Anonymousreply 2809/03/2020

Portland, OR is only a city in that it’s the largest metropolitan area in a state. Relative to the rest of this list, it’s a town.

by Anonymousreply 2909/03/2020

[quote] Chicago being affordable doesn’t mean much if the good-paying jobs are stagnant when compared to cities with above-average or high job growth.

This isn't true. Plus, Chicago has the fastest growing downtown in the country.

by Anonymousreply 3009/03/2020

What about San Jose, it's bigger than even San Fransisco.

by Anonymousreply 3109/03/2020

Forgot to add this is from a financial industry standpoint. Sorry for the confusion.

R27 I agree with you. Also look at the most racially segregated cities in the US. Detroit and Memphis are number 1 I believe. R15 I think Little Rock is more Tier 4- I mean Dallas, NOLA, and Memphis are at most six hours apart.

R16 Houston is the most diverse city in the US. It has the second best opera company in the US, great industries for oil, shipping, stock market, and law. The COL is low and the people are friendly. It is hot and humid, but they have some rally nice parks around Buffalo Bayou.

I would rather live in Houston than LA or DC any day of the week.

by Anonymousreply 3209/03/2020

Cost of living should have had a big part in determining this list, not just income.

by Anonymousreply 3309/03/2020

Houston is tier 2, not tier 1. And I do think San Jose and San Fran should be included in tier 1 as "The Bay Area".

by Anonymousreply 3409/03/2020

austin should be tier 2, it's so much better than all the tier 3 cities.

by Anonymousreply 3509/03/2020

Totally agree with r34. Partly agree with r35, Austin is close to Tier 2 status these days - not there yet but up-and-coming.

I have real issues with what a post-COVID NYC will be like. Tons of white flight, spiked crime rates, homeless everywhere and huge debt. Like 1970s NYC more than 2000s. Perhaps a good investment once the housing market bottoms out - what goes down must eventually go back up.

by Anonymousreply 3609/03/2020

1.8 million people is considered small R27?

by Anonymousreply 3709/03/2020

The people I know who've moved to Austin hate it for the reasons cited by R14. Plus it's much too hot in the summer and the real estate is overpriced.

by Anonymousreply 3809/03/2020



Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Not Houston.

by Anonymousreply 3909/03/2020

Las Vegas in Tier 4?

Prior to Covid it was booming and has nothing in common with the other cities in the list.

by Anonymousreply 4009/03/2020

I think r4 's link is more on target than OP's. What it comes down to is economics. If you can't get a job or if there's no upward mobility, the city won't thrive no matter how "cool" it seems. I live in Columbus, Ohio and according to this list, it's considered a "world city" (although at the gamma level) along with both Cleveland and Cincinnati. So boring, flyover Ohio has three moderate world cities according to this highly regarded methodology which is based on "cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy".

by Anonymousreply 4109/03/2020

Judging based off Datalounge:

Tier 1: NY, LA

Tier 2: Everybody else

by Anonymousreply 4209/03/2020

^^yes, that's correct. And DC because of politics.

It's pronounced How-ston Texas?

by Anonymousreply 4309/03/2020

This thread will end in tiers.

by Anonymousreply 4409/03/2020

Good one R44!

by Anonymousreply 4509/03/2020

Houston is a major port and financial center. So, yes, it's a tier 1 ciry. Just fyi for those snarking on it.

by Anonymousreply 4609/03/2020

R42: correction. According to DL: Tier 1 - Manhattan, LA

by Anonymousreply 4709/03/2020

No one thinks Houston is on par with NY, DC, SF, LA or Chicago.

No one.

by Anonymousreply 4809/03/2020

This thread will end in tiers.

by Anonymousreply 4909/03/2020

R10 I thought Central Gardens in Memphis was dreamy , and had that old timey Southern feel. I lived in Memphis briefly in the mid 80's working for Republic Airlines right before merger with Northwest. I lived downtown on the riverfront and somewhat of an urban pioneer living in the old Cotton Exchange building

by Anonymousreply 5009/03/2020

Yikes, embarrassing for you.

by Anonymousreply 5109/03/2020

R27 there were 4miilion within the city limits of Detroit at one time It. really was a great city if not a powerhouse

by Anonymousreply 5209/03/2020

Disagree R48. Personal opinion doesn't change facts

by Anonymousreply 5309/03/2020

R53 Tell that to the Republicans!

by Anonymousreply 5409/03/2020

I like San Antonio. It's the prettiest city in Texas and is more livable than Austin, Dallas or Houston.

by Anonymousreply 5509/03/2020

The river in San Antonio is a dirty creek and they’ve got big ‘ole women down there according to Charles Barkley

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by Anonymousreply 5609/03/2020

The irony is that COVID is changing all of this quickly for anyone in the info/tech industry - anyone who can work from home.

by Anonymousreply 5709/03/2020

[quote] Houston is a major port and financial center. So, yes, it's a tier 1 ciry


by Anonymousreply 5809/03/2020

Yes, R58. NY and LA are not the centers of the universe. It's also one of the fastest growing cities.

by Anonymousreply 5909/03/2020

It will be in the ocean in 10 years

by Anonymousreply 6009/03/2020

St. Louis a Tier 2 city. Even 70 years ago, at it's peak population of 850K in 1950, it was never, ever a Tier 2 city.

Today, downtown St. Louis is a no man's land. At night, its streets are so deserted of cars, buses cabs and pedestrians that they are used as drag racing strips.

by Anonymousreply 6109/03/2020

Chicago and Atlanta don’t really count as cities per se. they are just kind of big shopping meccas in their respective regions.

by Anonymousreply 6209/03/2020

Maybe, maybe not R60. Army Corps of Engineers is on call for that.

by Anonymousreply 6309/03/2020

Houston can't even get a Real Housewives franchise. The famous TV show about Texas was Dallas, not Houston. Ergo, Houston isn't shit, hasn't been shit and ain't gonna be shit.

4th tier city from a third tier state.

by Anonymousreply 6409/03/2020

In a fifth tier country r64.

by Anonymousreply 6509/03/2020

If that R65

by Anonymousreply 6609/03/2020

R62 - Chicago is consistently listed as one of the world's top cities - here's the list of world cities and GDP. It's 6th in the World.

To think it's just a shopping center shows how little you know about the economy. And that's not the only list - it's in the top 15 cities in almost every single global city indicator.

Atlanta - not so much, but it does well on its own and is not an insignificant city.

You made a pretty stupid statement.

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by Anonymousreply 6709/03/2020

Can anybody name tier 5 cities? Like you can be gay and fabulous and ratchet/trashy as hell?

by Anonymousreply 6809/03/2020

R68 - from recent developments on the slutty bottom thread, apparently Scranton.

by Anonymousreply 6909/03/2020

Sounds like Tampa R68

by Anonymousreply 7009/03/2020

[quote] Chicago and Atlanta don’t really count as cities per se

This is bizarre, even people who hate Chicago consider it a city.

by Anonymousreply 7109/03/2020

Not really r67. You’re just a big dumb stupid fatty.

by Anonymousreply 7209/03/2020

Oh and R67 they don’t have a real Housewives show. Real cities have their own real Housewives. Chicago will NEVER EVER have that. They don’t even have celebrities there.

by Anonymousreply 7309/03/2020

R73 - like San Francisco or Seattle or Boston or Houston or Phoenix.

Ok - whatever, you poor stupid child. Go back to school.

by Anonymousreply 7409/03/2020

Girls! Girls!

You're ALL fat silly whores!

by Anonymousreply 7509/03/2020

The Alpha Beta Wiki list was very interesting. And accurate. London and NYC are in a class by themselves. LA is more like Shanghai - tier 1b

by Anonymousreply 7609/03/2020

Chicago not having celebrities is not a selling point. Every great city needs local legends who get elevated to national names.

*Don't fucking bring up Trump.*

by Anonymousreply 7709/03/2020

r77- so Oprah, Michael Jordan, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, and many others - those don't count?

by Anonymousreply 7809/03/2020

R78, see R73

by Anonymousreply 7909/03/2020

[quote] they don’t have a real Housewives show. Real cities have their own real Housewives. Chicago will NEVER EVER have that.

Poor, ppor Chicago how will they survive without their own Housewives franchise????

by Anonymousreply 8009/03/2020

Interesting list thanks R3 for posting that link.

by Anonymousreply 8109/03/2020

r56 Applies to their men as well. City is nothing but overweight guys or flabby twinks. They're mostly bottoms too. If you want the athletic and muscular men with a bit more diversity (or white if you like em like that) Austin is the place to be.

by Anonymousreply 8209/03/2020

why do you liberals all hate the suburbs and cars?

by Anonymousreply 8309/04/2020

" there were 4miilion within the city limits of Detroit at one time It."

Such bullshit. Detroit's population peaked at 1.850M in 1950. It's been downhill ever since.

Maybe in METROPOLITAN Detroit, but Detroit proper never had that kind of population.

by Anonymousreply 8409/04/2020

Atlanta sucks. Definitely not Tier 2.

by Anonymousreply 8509/04/2020

Ah, the great cities of the world - Paris, Tokyo, London, and Houston. Each timeless in its own way.

by Anonymousreply 8609/04/2020

R86, I laughed so hard at that. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 8709/04/2020

Unfortunately Atlanta gets credit for its super busy hub airport. Houston is a much more diverse city with global immigrants - and way less pretentious and more fun. Neither are top tier - but I would take Houston any day

by Anonymousreply 8809/04/2020

[quote]Houston can't even get a Real Housewives franchise

Only on DL can a housewives franchise indicate status to a city. Thank god, houston doesn't have those vapid cunts on tv.

by Anonymousreply 8909/04/2020

Pittsburgh is missing from Ops list. It's bigger than many on ops list and can easily fit into tier 2 or 3.

by Anonymousreply 9009/04/2020

Way too many cities in OP's tier 2. This is what Tier 2 should look like

[quote] Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, San Diego, Houston.

by Anonymousreply 9109/04/2020

Little Rock has a famous song written about it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 9209/04/2020

So does Houston.

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by Anonymousreply 9309/04/2020

Oprah never lived in Chicago. She only stayed there when she taped her show.

Michael Jordan is only an athlete, therefore not a celebrity by Datalounge standards.

Jenny Hudson won a talent contest so no real celebrity status there.

Mr. Kardashian doesn’t count in any category, so, no, there are still NO celebrities in Chicago. And certainly none living there.

by Anonymousreply 9409/04/2020

Same with Atlanta. People think all the stars are moving to Y'allywood. They come here, shoot and get the hell out. Tyler Perry is here. Other than that, not so much. You're not going to be bumping into someone famous at Kroger.

by Anonymousreply 9509/04/2020

R94 - you're wrong on all counts, but with such a celebrity-driven view of the world - none of which you will ever access or be part of - creating your worldview of what is important, then I will let you have your shallow and juvenile point.

Just don't try to move up to the adults table - sit back and eat your mac and cheese and sip on your CarpriSun while the rest of us adults continue our conversation.

by Anonymousreply 9609/04/2020

Which of the cities in OP's tier 2 or tier 3 cities should I visit for a week as a tourist? It looks like I'll be working from home until January and have time to travel. Preferably somewhere where the men are hot.

by Anonymousreply 9709/04/2020

I thought the criteria for having a housewives program was based on how many boob jobs were done in the area. It has nothing to do with whether the area is great or posh.

by Anonymousreply 9809/04/2020

In that case, R98, Houston should top the list

And still, no matter how hard they try, it doesn't.

by Anonymousreply 9909/04/2020

R95 I know what you mean. They fly in and out of Atlanta. They have a place to stay while they film there like Oprah did in Chicago, but they don’t officially reside there.

R96 just how can that be wrong? None of those people live in Chicago

by Anonymousreply 10009/04/2020

Portland has terrible wage to COL ratio.

by Anonymousreply 10109/04/2020


by Anonymousreply 102Last Wednesday at 6:23 AM

What is COL?

by Anonymousreply 103Last Wednesday at 6:29 AM

R4 has me dead. I snorted so violently my sinuses hurt.

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill have really grown in the last two decades and as the last empty spaces are being filled in, is an uninterrupted suburban area of almost a million people in which you never really realize you’ve left one city and are in another.

I would argue that RDU is at least a tier 2.5 as it is a large research/tech hub, home to the state government, has great educational and medical systems with three nationally renowned universities while still being affordable to live.

by Anonymousreply 104Last Wednesday at 6:43 AM

If you look at the list at r3, this is something that is officially ranked. The North American cities importance to the global economy looks like this.

Houston is important, but it is not in the same tier as New York which stands alone, and also not in the same tier as Chicago or Los Angeles.

[bold]Alpha ++[/bold]

- New York

[bold] Alpha

- Chicago

- Toronto

- Los Angeles

- Mexico City

- Miami

[bold]Alpha - [/bold]

- San Francisco

- Montreal

- Washington, D.C.

- Houston

[bold]Beta + [/bold]

- Boston

- Atlanta

- Dallas

- Vancouver

[bold] Beta -[/bold]

- Philadelphia

- Calgary

- Denver

- Minneapolis

[bold]Beta -[/bold]

- Seattle

- Monterrey

- San Juan

[bold]Gamma + [/bold]

- Detroit

- Cleveland


- Saint Louis

- San Diego

- San Jose

- Guadalajara

- Charlotte

- Austin

- Tampa

- Baltimore

- Phoenix

[bold]Gamma - [/bold]

- Ottawa

- Sacramento

- San Antonio

- Nashville

- Milwaukee

- Orlando

by Anonymousreply 105Last Wednesday at 6:56 AM

The one that seemed to get underrated in this thread is Miami, which is an important global hub.

by Anonymousreply 106Last Wednesday at 6:59 AM

New York is so posh, the homeless drug addicts are put up in luxury hotels for free. Why wouldn't any indigent person not want to make a home in the Big Apple?

by Anonymousreply 107Last Wednesday at 6:59 AM

That's nice, it is still arguably the most important city on the planet r107, with its only real competition coming from London r107.

by Anonymousreply 108Last Wednesday at 7:05 AM

R105, I think that list is dated in some ways. There is no way Seattle is less important to the global economy than Philly, for instance. Or Vancouver. Vancouver is just a resort city with people who happen to live there.

by Anonymousreply 109Last Wednesday at 7:07 AM

Girls! Girls! Calm down.... We all know that Providence, Rhode Island is missing from this list.

by Anonymousreply 110Last Wednesday at 7:12 AM

That list @R103 is so bogus.

Even St. Louis' most ardent defenders and supporters would never attempt to put it in the same class as dynamic cities like San Diego and San Jose, Austin and Charlotte.

STL's competition is KSC, Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. At best, it's at the middle of these 5 cities.

The CEO of Centene Corporation, the largest managed care provider in the US and based in STL and employing thousands there, served notice in July to STL officials that if they didn't do something about the rampant crime there, they would seriously consider pulling up stakes and moving corporate HQ to Charlotte.

by Anonymousreply 111Last Wednesday at 8:21 AM

That should be the list at R105.

by Anonymousreply 112Last Wednesday at 8:27 AM

I dream of spending my vacation in Raleigh-Durham.

by Anonymousreply 113Last Wednesday at 2:19 PM

Come on down, Yankee Boy!

Homecoming at the Hayes Barton Baptist Church is next month, but you better not be a heathen mask wearer!

by Anonymousreply 114Last Wednesday at 2:52 PM
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