Portland, Ore.

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Portlandia attracts new young people mostly because of its vibrant and distinctive quality of life, which leads among midsize metros. Economic conditions are challenging (relatively high unemployment and low labor-force participation, along with relatively high rents), but public transit is good -- the city is the most walkable and bikable among midsize metros. Bars and restaurants are also plentiful. Portland is home to Intel, and Nike is nearby, along with several other shoe and apparel companies, all providing prospects for employment after graduation.

#3 Portland, Ore.

POPULATION: 2,245,987
STUDENTS: 157,334
RANKING DETAIL:
#6 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#16 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#1 CITY ACCESS
#5 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#7 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#10 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#9 LABOR FORCE
#2 INNOVATION
#16 RENT

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