Best Cities for Gen Z: Minneapolis Triumphs as No. 1

Originally published on September 5, 2023, by Matthew Preston for NAIOP.

The diverse Gen Z generation has a wide range of priorities when it comes to choosing a city to live in. Some value affordability while others prioritize education and employment prospects. Still others are looking for a city with abundant recreational activities.

To help Gen Zers identify cities that align with their priorities, CommercialCafe analyzed major U.S. cities across a variety of key metrics. These included the Gen Z population share, educational attainment, affordability, eco-friendly commuting and park density. The results of this analysis created a comprehensive guide for Gen Zers who are looking for a city that values community, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.


Minneapolis is the top city for Gen Z in 2023, and in fact, it already boasts a strong Gen Z population (roughly 10% of residents belong to this demographic) and attracts many others within this age group. Additionally, more than half of its Gen Z inhabitants are enrolled in post-secondary educational pursuits, making Minneapolis an attractive destination for young professionals to chase their career goals. Similarly, a low unemployment rate of 2.6% presents promising job prospects. Finally, the city’s budget-friendly subscriptions to high-speed internet access are especially appealing to the digital nomad types from this age group. 

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