If you’re looking for the perfect balance between work, family, and fun leisure time, moving to a college town is a really good idea.
A new report published this week by NerdWallet on the best and worst cities for work and life balance shows that all the cities that ranked in the top 10 are home to at least one university – with Bloomington, Indiana, grabbing the top spot. Provo, Utah, and Gainesville, Florida are not far behind.
The 10 best cities for a good work and life balance are spread around the country, mainly in the Midwest, in Florida, in the South and out West. None is on the East Coast.
To compile its annual list, NerdWallet took into consideration such criteria as average hours worked per week in each city, length of time of the average daily commute, the median income for full-time workers, and the median rent in each city.
In the 10 cities that scored best, the average resident works less than 34 hours a week, while the mean travel time to work is under 18 minutes. Nationally, 11 percent of employees work more than 50 hours a week. Keep in mind, of course, that a large part of these cities’ workforces are made up of state university employees – i.e., public workers who may well be members of job-protecting unions.
“Americans spend more time at the office than most workers in other countries,” noted NerdWallet in its study, citing a well-known conclusion. However, people “who seek a healthy work-life balance can reduce stress and improve the quality of their lives.”
All of the cities that scraped the bottom of the barrel in this study are either on the East Coast or in California.
Here are the six worst cities for work/life balance:
- Dale City, Virginia, near Washington D.C.
- Waldorf, Maryland, near Washington D.C.
- Menifee, California, near Los Angeles
- Tracy, California, near San Francisco
- Germantown, Maryland, near Washington D.C.
- New York City, New York
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