Kalamazoo, Mich.

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Home to Western Michigan University, a large public university, and Kalamazoo College, a small liberal arts school, Kalamazoo ends our list of top small metros. Employment levels in STEM are particularly high, in part thanks to the Western Michigan University School of Medicine, Borgess Health, and Bronson Healthcare. The global research and development arm of Zoetis, the world’s largest producer of veterinary medical supplies, is also headquartered in the area. Kalamazoo offers a great restaurant and bar scene, largely because of its local breweries and brewpubs. The best known is Bell’s Brewery. Aside from local brews, students will also enjoy some of the lowest rents among all small metros in the country.

#20 Kalamazoo, Mich.

POPULATION: 258,031
STUDENTS: 33,229
RANKING DETAIL:
#14 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#14 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#18 CITY ACCESS
#18 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#4 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#20 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#12 LABOR FORCE
#4 INNOVATION
#1 RENT

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