The 10 Best Cities to Ride Out a Recession

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an employee is happy with his retirement plan
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While the bear market is over, the U.S. economy is not in the clear yet. Indeed, many business leaders continue to warn that a recession is imminent. If that happens, could the city you live in help you weather the economic storm?

The financial website SmartAsset thinks so. It looked at 429 cities and analyzed data across four categories — employment, housing, social assistance and economic stability — to see where residents will fare best in a recession.

According to their findings, these are the top cities in the nation to ride out an economic downturn.

10. Layton, Utah

Layton, Utah
PureRadiancePhoto /

Employment rank: 11
Housing rank: 124
Social assistance rank: 64
Economic stability rank: 31

You’ll find Layton just north of Salt Lake City in Utah. As the largest city in Davis County, it offers its approximately 84,000 residents plenty of recreation opportunities. What’s more, several industrial complexes, as well as nearby Hill Air Force Base, may mean ample job opportunities, even in a recession.

9. Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu /

Employment rank: 121
Housing rank: 15
Social assistance rank: 50
Economic stability rank: 3

Bellevue lies on the shores of Lake Washington, just across from Seattle, to the west, and Lake Sammamish to the east. The city has seen significant growth in recent years, and housing affordability is a priority. Residents have access to numerous parks, trails, community centers and an aquatic center.

8. Olathe, Kansas

Olathe, Kansas
Dana Arriaga /

Employment rank: 44
Housing rank: 24
Social assistance rank: 47
Economic stability rank: 37

Located in the center of the nation, this suburb of the Kansas City metro area is the county seat of Johnson County. Olathe offers its residents an impressive array of recreational activities. These include multiple pools, parks and trails and sports leagues for adults and children.

7. Sandy, Utah

Sandy, Utah
Uladzik Kryhin /

Employment rank: 61
Housing rank: 120
Social assistance rank: 28
Economic stability rank: 1

Back in Utah, Sandy is another community that seems well-equipped to help its residents ride out a recession. Most impressively, this city takes the No. 1 spot for economic stability in the SmartAsset rankings. You’ll find Sandy in the Salt Lake City metro area, where residents can rent electric scooters, cheer on the local professional soccer team or catch a movie at one of the numerous theaters.

6. Mountain View, California

Google headquarters
Benny Marty /

Employment rank: 75
Housing rank: 33
Social assistance rank: 9
Economic stability rank: 24

Mountain View is part of Silicon Valley, and the mountains in view are the Santa Cruz range. In addition to the more than 83,000 residents, this city at the south end of San Francisco Bay is home to major companies such as Intuit and Google, along with its parent company Alphabet.

5. San Mateo, California

San Mateo California
James L Simmons /

Employment rank: 71
Housing rank: 37
Social assistance rank: 12
Economic stability rank: 18

If California is your preferred spot to ride out a recession, San Mateo, just south of San Francisco, is another Bay Area community to consider. The city has been noted for having a charming downtown and an upscale shopping center. Plus, there are miles of trails and plenty of open space for those who like to spend their time outdoors.

4. Kirkland, Washington

Kirkland, Washington
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Employment rank: 70
Housing rank: 19
Social assistance rank: 44
Economic stability rank: 2

Costco shoppers will be familiar with the Kirkland name since it graces the warehouse club’s store brand. However, Kirkland is more than home to this national retailer. The Seattle suburb (just north of No. 9 Bellevue) is also a prime spot for hiking, shopping and boating on Lake Washington.

3. Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park Kansas
Jacob Boomsma /

Employment rank: 39
Housing rank: 23
Social assistance rank: 17
Economic stability rank: 22

Back in the Midwest, Overland Park is another of the large communities that make up the Kansas City metro area. Even without the threat of a recession, this city can be an attractive place to put down roots. named it one of the 100 best places to live, thanks to its safe neighborhoods, strong schools plus job and health care options.

2. Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Corey Carrico /

Employment rank: 22
Housing rank: 6
Social assistance rank: 4
Economic stability rank: 133

Highlands Ranch isn’t technically a city; it’s a master-planned community that was created more than 40 years ago. Its 103,000 residents are just 12 minutes from Denver, so they are close to big city amenities but get to live somewhere smaller with lots of outdoor recreation opportunities.

1. Castle Rock, Colorado

Castle Rock, Colorado
Robert Arthur Designs /

Employment rank: 10
Housing rank: 7
Social assistance rank: 3
Economic stability rank: 141

Buoyed by top 10 rankings in three of four categories, Castle Rock is SmartAsset’s No. 1 pick for where to ride out a recession. The town between Denver and Colorado Springs sits in the shadow of its namesake land formation. Currently, about 80,000 people call Castle Rock home, but the town expects that number to swell to 130,000-150,000 residents in the years to come.

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