Sioux Falls, SD
Depending on your age, what you want out of a city can vary. Whether it's for a job or the school system, a lot of thought goes into picking the perfect city to live in and raise your family.
A recent survey from MONEYRATES.com places Sioux Falls in the top ten cities for people under 40.
Whether it's the peaceful sounds streaming from Falls Park or one of the many festivals filling the streets, many who call Sioux Falls home say the town has something for everyone and plenty of small-town charm.
"You go to the big city; the Chicagos, the New Yorks and you kind of think, 'oh this would be great.' But then there are things that you miss about home. It's always nice that Sioux Falls, I consider to be small but not too small. It has the amenities of the big cities but not the bad things as well," 32-year-old Blaine Davis said.
Davis was born in Sioux Falls and after leaving the state for college he now works right back where he grew up. He wasn't surprised to find out that Sioux Falls is ranked as one of the top ten cities for people under 40.
"It's nice to be a part of something. We're a city that is moving forward and it's fun to be a part of that, discovering what the community does and never being at a standstill. It's really fun to be doing that; it's a draw," Davis said.
Davis says part of Sioux Falls' draw for a young crowd is having so much to do. Being able to walk around and check out different downtown businesses, or pack up the car and enjoy some of South Dakota's great outdoors.
"You know, for me, I am kind of the outdoors type. So being able to jump in a car and in 15 or 20 minutes be out hunting or fishing and the river is not too far away, that's also a benefit that you wouldn't find in a bigger city," Davis said.
Teri Schmidt,the Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the new Sioux Falls ranking is a no-brainer.
"One of the things that does make us great is that for the under-40, while they may have left for a while, they are coming back. And, you know, you can look around in community meetings or anywhere you go in Sioux Falls and see the under-40 age group actively involved and that makes us different from the rest," Schmidt said.
She says Sioux Falls offers a tremendous quality of life and plenty of opportunities for the younger crowd.
"They see the opportunities here, Sioux Falls is growing, there are jobs available. Look at our health community, our banking community, and other industries throughout town. There are opportunities in Sioux Falls not only for jobs and careers, but for the great quality of life and being able to raise a family here if not now, then in the near future," Schmidt said.
Schmidt says Sioux Falls has everything a larger city has to offer, but on a smaller scale. She says there are educational opportunities here, such as the University of Sioux Falls, University Center and Augustana College. There's a growing nightlife scene in the downtown area, including the new Icon lounge. And there are plenty of spots to grab a bite or a drink with friends. With new businesses opening their doors, it's a growing atmosphere that she feels is luring younger people back to Sioux Falls.
"Just working in this business I get to meet a lot of under-40-year-olds. And a lot of them have left and a lot of them have come back. They have gone out and seen where they thought the grass was greener and then they see, really the green grass is right here in Sioux Falls," Schmidt said.
The city received its second-place ranking based on ratings for its quality of life, including job opportunities, affordability, safety and health. But ask anyone around town about what make Sioux Falls great and they'll likely say, it's the people.
"I think the first thing that grabs them is the friendliness of the people. As almost hokey as that sounds to those of us who live here, it is almost the number one thing we hear," Schmidt said.
"Absolutely the way the city is moving it will only get better and I would like my family and I to be a part of that," Davis said.
Sioux Falls received second place behind Bismarck, North Dakota, and just ahead of Salt Lake City, Utah.
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