Best Cities for Veterans

Bert Sperling, Founder and President Bestplaces.net

Veterans starting the post-service phase of their lives face a unique set of opportunities and challenges.veterans from the marines army air force and navy

On the one hand, the post-9/11 G.I. Bill can help with getting a college education.  On the other hand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that veterans between the ages of 25 and 34 have unemployment rates nearly 4 points higher than comparable civilians.

Working with USAA Insurance and Military.com, we decided to shed some light on this issue by determining the Best U.S. Cities for Veterans.

Out of 379 major U.S. metro areas, here’s the top 10:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Phoenix, AZ
  3. Dallas, TX
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Warren, MI
  7. Ann Arbor, MI
  8. Cincinnati, OH
  9. Columbus, OH
  10. St. Louis, MO

Each of the variables was weighted based on what soon-to-be or recent veterans said was important to them, and each metro area was then ranked based on its total points for all variables.

Here’s the criteria we considered:

  • Military skill-related jobs
  • Presence of colleges/universities
  • Economic stability
  • Mass transit availability
  • Crime level
  • Unemployment rate
  • Volume of DoD conracts
  • Health resources
  • Affordability
  • Property Tax
  • Local schools
  • Airport proximity
  • Recent job growth
  • Recreation
  • Sales tax
  • Climate
  • Number of federal government jobs

Metro areas with the following attributes were excluded from the list: unemployment rate more than 1% above the national average, cost of living greater than the national average and total crime rate more than 25% above the national average.  You can check out the study on USAA’s site here.

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