Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Point2.
With remote and hybrid working models still prevalent, paired with the continuing growth in the tech sector, many employees are increasingly attracted to the idea of relocating.
And as tech hubs crop up across the country, their options are no longer limited to Silicon Valley either. For those looking to change the scenery, their horizons appear to be rapidly expanding.
In a recent report, CommercialCafe used six indicators to determine which midsized metros are best suited for tech workers looking to move. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study provides a fascinating insight into emerging tech centers across the country.
The report focused on U.S. metropolitan areas with a population of fewer than 1 million residents and took into account the following six metrics:
- Life quality index (including cost of living stats, education level and unemployment rate)
- Average tech salary
- Tech job density per 1,000 jobs
- Tech establishments per 100,000 residents
- Percentage of the total population covered by employer-based health insurance
- Number of leisure establishments per 100,000 residents
Here’s how the top mid-sized metros ranked and why.
1. Boulder, CO
Taking the top spot among midsized metros for tech workers, Boulder also ranked highest in terms of tech firms per 100,000 residents, with 266.1 businesses.
Meanwhile, the average tech salary of $101,319 and the 292.2 leisure establishments per 100,000 people both ranked second highest among the 15 metros in the report.
2. California-Lexington Park, MD
California-Lexington Park ranked highest in terms of tech job density, with 106.1 tech positions per 1,000 jobs.
A yearly figure of $98,691 put the metro in third place for average tech salary, while the tech establishment density of 105.7 ranked it fourth for that metric.
3. Bloomington, IL
Ranking third in the overall chart, Bloomington took the highest score for life quality. It also came in second for tech job density, with 103.3 positions per 1,000 jobs, providing workers with an average tech salary of $86,808.
4. Huntsville, AL
The first entry in the South to join the chart, Huntsville ranked seventh in terms of average salary, at $88,681.
Better yet, it landed at third place for life quality and at fourth place for tech job density, with 7.35% of its employed residents having tech occupations.
5. Madison, WI
Madison ranked highest in terms of employer-based health insurance, with almost 72% of the population enjoying this benefit, and second for life quality index.
In addition, a tech job density of 62.1 and 271.6 leisure establishments per 100,000 residents helped propel it to No. 5 in the overall chart.
6. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
With an average tech salary of $90,133, Durham-Chapel-Hill came in sixth. The metro scored valuable points for life quality, where it ranked fourth, and tech job density, taking fifth place with 65.7 positions out of 1,000 jobs.
7. Trenton-Princeton, NJ
The first entry from the Northeast, Trenton-Princeton ranked fourth for average tech salary, at $96,834.
A tech businesses density of 148.3 (for which it ranked second) and 233.8 leisure establishments per 100,000 residents (for which it came in third) also boosts its appeal among tech workers.
8. Provo-Orem, UT
Provo-Orem enjoyed a balanced score across most metrics.
An average tech salary of $87,045, 108.4 tech firms per 100,000 residents (for which it ranked third), and 67.99% of the population receiving employer-based health insurance (fourth place) definitely upped the score.
9. Colorado Springs, CO
The average tech salary of $91,859 was a significant selling point for this metro, helping position it on the fifth spot for that metric.
With 94.7 tech firms per 100,000 residents, Colorado Springs also got the fifth spot on the tech establishment density chart.
10. Charlottesville, VA
Despite a tech job density of just 39 out of every 1,000 jobs, Charlottesville boasts 93 tech firms per 100,000 residents, providing an average tech salary of $88,164.
The metro ranked seventh for leisure establishments density, with 246.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, and sixth for life quality.
11. Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor ranked second for employer-based health insurance, at 70.36% of the population, and fifth for life quality. The tech establishment density of 94.1 firms should not be overlooked either.
12. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
Although it only ranked 12th in the overall chart, the metro scored the highest points for tech salary, with a yearly average of $106,591. It also ranked fourth for leisure establishment density — 271.4 opportunities per 100,000 residents.
13. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
Des Moines-West Des Moines found itself being placed at No. 13 overall. The metro came in sixth for employer-based health insurance (64.69% of the population), seventh for life quality index, and tenth for tech job density (47.3 out of 1,000 jobs).
14. Portland-South Portland, ME
The Portland-South Portland metro had the highest score for leisure opportunities, providing a fantastic 333 establishments per 100,000 residents. In addition, with 63.40% of its population enjoying employer-based health insurance, the Maine metro came in eighth for that metric.
15. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
The Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro helped New York state secure a spot in the top 15. It ranked fifth for leisure establishment density (260.1 per 100,000 residents), as well as for percentage of the population benefitting from employer-based health insurance (67.18%).
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