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Study: Millennials view Atlanta as No. 2 city in the country for ‘best value’

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To no one’s surprise, however, they don’t think highly of our traffic situation

A picture of atlanta traffic, with cars in the foreground and buildings behind.
The downtown skyline as seen about 12 years ago, when Connector traffic occasionally moved.
Barry Williams/Getty Images

Relative to 21 other major U.S. cities, Atlanta is perceived by young people as being one of the best places to get bang for your buck.

That’s according to the newly released U.S. Cities Scorecard For Millennials, a study by The Langston Co. that ranks metropolitan cities by more than 40 different metrics, “from culture to career, climate to commute, taxes to transport, and salary to schools.”

The Langston Co. teamed up with, a survey respondent provider, to ask nearly 3,000 millennials in 22 cities how they valued the places they call home.

Atlanta ranked No. 2 on the list of cities offering the “best value,” trailing only Houston.

That ranking comes from a calculation weighing how Atlanta’s millennials give to the city (housing costs, time in traffic, taxes, etc.) versus what they get from the city (job opportunities, culture, access to nature, etc.).

Atlanta also claimed second place for being both the “friendliest” city and a metropolis where meeting people is easy.

Austin and New York beat us out in those two categories, respectively.

No matter how friendly Atlanta may be, we can’t escape our traffic woes, in the opinion of millennials, or those born between the very early 1980s and about 1996.

The Langston Co.

It should come as little surprise that Atlanta ranked low on the worst-traffic list—No. 13, factoring in the two- and three-way ties for first, second, third, and eighth places.

Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Phoenix topped the list in the traffic department, and Seattle plopped down in last place.

Asked what Atlanta’s biggest problems are, survey respondents of course complained about traffic and inadequate transportation systems, but they also worry about crime, homelessness, and, to the chagrin of many urbanists, “overcrowding.”

On the other hand, the best parts of Atlanta were deemed to be its diversity, culture, people, and food options.

Atlanta tied with Dallas as the third best city for “overall cost of living,” and it also held No. 3 for housing costs, trumped only by Houston and Cleveland.