The 35 Best U.S. Cities for People 35 and Under

Livability and millennial might top the list of the two most overused words of 2014, especially when it comes to community growth and attraction efforts.

But as eye-roll-inducing as those words might be - they matter. Livability is that oft-desired but difficult to measure 'it factor' of a community. What are the levers we pull and the areas we focus on to make people want to boomerang back, relocate or never leave a place? It's a magical combination of people and place and potential (which is one reason why that's the mantra of this site). And as much as it sometimes rubs this Gen Xer the wrong way to focus so much on millennial  - they are the powerhouse generation whose numbers trump the Baby Boomers and whose futures impact our world in astronomical ways.

So, I'll give a tip of the hat to Vocativ , (a "new type of media company, bringing audiences hidden perspectives, unheard voices and original ideas from around the world via the Deep Web), for its second annual, semi-exhaustive, largely scientific guide to America's most livable cities for the millennial crowd. Here's how they made the ranking:

To reach our top 35, we started with the 100 most populous cities in America and used open-source Internet data to measure vital stats like salary and employment rates, and the cost of rent and utilities, as well as everyday concerns like public transportation, weather and crime. We also considered lifestyle metrics...as well as access to live music and sports.

And if an Idaho city hadn't landed high on this list, I wouldn't be writing this post. But, Boise clocked in at #11, beating out such renowned cities like Dallas, Boston, Chicago and San Jose. I appreciate this ranking in particular because while it highlights what many of us love about this place, it also notes the areas where we continue to focus on improving:

Boise consistently ranks among the nicest, healthiest, most livable cities in the country, and it takes the No. 1 spot in our ranking for affordable night out—food and beer are insanely cheap. Work and inexpensive housing abound in Boise, with jobs in tech and medicine particularly well represented. Boise's North End has historic homes and hippie flair, with antique shops, as well as music and food at Hyde Park's Sun Ray Cafe and the Hyde Park Pub. Southwest Boise's Bench area is more affordable, with a lot of charm and young people. On the downside, don't look for much diversity, outside of the city's sizable Basque community. But Boise is a beautiful place to live, with real seasons and plenty of outdoorsy activities like skiing, hiking in Hull's Gulch and fishing in the Boise River.

To read the full report, take the jump to Vocativ: The Livability Index 2014