Gainesville, Fla.

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Go Gators! This energy-filled city revolves around the University of Florida, one of the country’s largest universities. As with most college towns, Gainesville’s population is well educated. Aside from football games, the city’s entertainment offerings include a vibrant music scene and outdoor attractions to accompany the ideal weather. As you would expect for a college town, there’s never a shortage of cheap eats and fun bars. The city’s upbeat attitude and high quality of life mask its economic conditions, however. Labor-force participation is among the lowest of all the small metros.

#5 Gainesville, Fla.

POPULATION: 273,382
STUDENTS: 54,294
RANKING DETAIL:
#8 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#8 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#8 CITY ACCESS
#4 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#15 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#15 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#20 LABOR FORCE
#6 INNOVATION
#3 RENT

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