Madison, Wis.

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Any alumni coming from Madison will sing that city’s praises. And it’s no wonder why. Madison is the definition of a Midwest-friendly city. It is bike and commuter friendly, as one of our more accessible cities. Also, the city is vegetarian-friendly, gay-friendly, environmentally friendly, and economically friendly, with a No. 2 ranking in economic climate. This is due to very low unemployment and rents, and high labor-force participation and employment in the innovation economy. The innovation score is in large part attributed to the University of Wisconsin, a premier public research university, whose research has translated to the marketplace.

#4 Madison, Wis.

POPULATION: 633,475
STUDENTS: 66,819
RANKING DETAIL:
#2 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#16 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#7 CITY ACCESS
#19 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#18 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#5 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#1 LABOR FORCE
#5 INNOVATION
#7 RENT

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