Over 50 percent of the world’s population is under 30 and when you consider this fact, it becomes quite strange that not more is said about the state of the world’s major cities from the standpoint of someone who falls in that category.
Luckily for young people all over the world, an initiative called YouthfulCities was started in 2013 in partnership with DECODE and its goal ever since has been to find out what young people around the world think about the cities they live in. According to the YouthfulCities, their definition of youth includes people between the ages 15 and 29 and in the few years they have been around, they have published two Youthful Cities Indexes, i.e. comprehensive reports about which of the world’s cities are more conducive to the youthful way of life.
The 2015 issue only recently came out and it is quite a read. Considering how much work went into it, this is no surprise. Namely, compiling this index required 6 months of work by more than 500 people in 55 countries around the world, collecting data from thousands of young people and then analyzing the data in order to find out which of the world cities are most geared towards youth. They came up with something called the Urban Attitudes Survey, covering 20 urban attributes that are divided into three main categories – Live, Work and Play.
In the Live Category, attributes such as Diversity, Environment, Safety, Transit, Health and Digital Access were examined, each of them consisting of even more factors and issues. In the Work Category, they examined how cities did in respect to Employment, Education, Entrepreneurship, Affordability and so on. In the Play Category, they investigated how these cities “performed” in respect to Music, Film, Sports, Fashion, Public Space and so on.
The attributes were then assigned different values and the cities were given scores from 0 to a possible 1630. Overall, 55 cities from around the world were examined in detail and we have to say that we quite like how U.S. cities fared. For instance, the best city for youth, at least according to YouthfulCities is none other than New York City. The Big Apple scored record 1024.12 points, making it a clear winner in front of London which earned “only” 1001.46 points. Berlin came in third with 924.37 points. Another American city made it to Top 5, San Francisco which is in the fourth spot with 915.93 points. Paris rounds off the Top 5 with 886.59 points.
Toronto is in the 6th spot with 874.84 points and it is followed by another two American cities, Chicago in #7 with 874.25 points and Los Angeles in #8 with 871.44. Mexico City (860.42) and Amsterdam (858.79) complete the Top 10. Washington is at spot No.11 with 836.77 points, Boston is at #13 with 811.02, Dallas is at #23 with 780.69, Detroit is at #25 with 764.57 (only barely beaten by Rome, for example) and Miami is at #33 with 732.53.
It needs to be pointed out that not all of the major cities in the world were investigated by YouthfulCities and that they were looking for a more comprehensive and balanced examination of different regions of the world. That being said, it is still great to see all of the U.S. cities rank in the top 33 and with 4 American cities in the top 10.
Of course, we should also mention that this list is based on the answers from young people living in those cities and that some cities may have more optimistic youth than others, which can further skew the results. Still, we are not going to let this bring us down and we have decided to be happy about these results.
The only thing we wish for the amazing young people at YouthfulCities is that their initiative grows and that their Index next year includes even more world cities for an even more comprehensive overview of the best cities for young people. Keep up the good work!