Home ownership, economic opportunities, diverse communities and upward mobility for our children define the American Dream for many of us. To achieve that Dream, we need to live in cities where homes and mortgages are affordable and where there are opportunities that make it possible for us and our children to climb the economic ladder.

MarketWatch, a financial information website and subsidiary of Dow Jones Co., annually publishes the places in the country where the American Dream could best become an American Reality.

For this study, MarketWatch used metrics from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Equality of opportunity Project to analyze homeownership rates, diversity rates, upward mobility rates, median home values and unemployment rates.

You’ll note that Texas seems to be where the American Dream lives. Half of the cities on this Top 10 List are Texas cities that tend to have affordable housing along with lots and lots of good jobs that are driving down unemployment rates and improving upward economic mobility.

Top 10 Places to Live to Realize the American Dream

  1. West Valley City, Utah
    1. Unemployment – 2.9%
    2. 22nd in upward mobility – top 10% of all cities
    3. BUT, 94th in diversity ranking
  2. Odessa, Texas
    1. 1st in upward mobility
    2. Unemployment dropped to 3.8% from last year’s 5.8%
  3. Midland, Texas
    1. 3rd in both upward mobility and low unemployment
    2. BUT, only 59% residents are homeowners
  4. Aurora, Illinois
    1. 1st in most diversity
    2. 5th in upward mobility
    3. BUT, 4.5% unemployment
  5. Round Rock, Texas
    1. Top 1/3 in 4 out of 5 metrics
    2. 1% unemployment
    3. Good economic conditions for all aspiring to American Dream
  6. Fort Worth, Texas
    1. 1 of most affordable in Top 10
    2. Median home price of $151,000, well below national average
  7. Aurora, Colorado
    1. 2% unemployment rate
    2. Ranks in top 25% in both diversity and upward mobility
  8. San Jose, California
    1. Median home price of $800,000 the highest by far
    2. BUT, low unemployment, high economic upward mobility
  9. Amarillo, Texas
    1. 2% unemployment
    2. +60% residents own homes
    3. Median home price of $127,000
  10. Rochester, Minnesota
    1. One of VERY best cities for working women
    2. Ranks 11th of all cities in upward mobility
    3. Ranks 22nd in homeownership rates
    4. BUT, 235 or 256 in terms of diversity

While reading this list, know that 75% of Americans now believe that living the American Dream is no longer possible. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis backed up this belief by indicating that people wanting to live the American Dream would have a better chance of actualizing that Dream by moving to Canada, the United Kingdom or Denmark.




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