Charlotte, N.C.

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The so-called Queen City, Charlotte owes its No. 16 ranking among midsize cities to its favorable demographics. Perhaps more important to the region’s economic vitality than the lively sports scene led by the Panthers, the Hornets, and NASCAR is the Southeastern Regional Banking Compact of the early 1980s. The compact allowed and facilitated bank mergers and acquisitions within designated states in the South. Charlotte still serves as a banking hub, providing future job opportunities for students. However, youth unemployment is relatively high, at over 9 percent.

#16 Charlotte, N.C.

POPULATION: 2,310,689
STUDENTS: 147,827
RANKING DETAIL:
#11 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#9 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#16 CITY ACCESS
#17 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#4 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#18 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#12 LABOR FORCE
#17 INNOVATION
#6 RENT

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