Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fresno ranks “highly livable” for young people


Photo: Craig Kohlruss, The Fresno Bee.

We’ve all heard about Fresno ranking as the drunkest and almost dumbest city, but here’s one ranking on the positive side: “Fresno rated highly livable for young people.” That’s the Al Jazeera America headline circulating around the interwebs this morning. It references a ranking done by a site called (who?) that puts Fresno one notch below New York City for livability for young people. Fresno ranked #24 out of 35.

The ranking is based on factors such as median age, unemployment rates, cost for a two-bedroom apartment, the cost of a pint of Guinness (we ranked in the top five on that one), the cost of an ounce of marijuana, the cost of manicures and pedicures, and the number of coffee shops and music venues.

From the Al Jazeera story:

Yes, these are all things that matter to younger people — especially in rough times.

The economic downturn that has yet to fully loosen its grip on the nation has added sheen to less glamorous cities and places often derided by their critics as cow towns or, in the case of Fresno, the armpit of the state.

I know some of you don’t take these rankings very seriously. And some of you will sing this information from the closest mountaintop (while pointing out that mountaintop is in one of three national parks in the region). Anyway, what do you think? Is it true?

Responses to "Fresno ranks “highly livable” for young people"

Mike Scott says:

That survey came out on Nov 07, 2013. (Click the Vocativ link to confirm.) Not sure why it’s getting attention now.

Traci Arbios says:

The thing that I find really offensive is my own mental association to the word “armpit” — which in my mind’s eye is sweaty, hairy and deodorant free, which means it smells like old tacos, which makes me crave tacos, which makes me think of Cuca’s and their awesome chips with a little lime and salt and GAWD I LOVE THIS TOWN.

Heather P says:

I first posted this on Facebook a while back with the note saying, in effect, “Fresno is the reason why my chap and I can still live like we’re under 35!”

We don’t make nearly as much in salary as our counterparts in LA or San Francisco (and I mean the child-free counterparts – I never presume to compare my life to people raising kids), but in Fresno we live so cheaply we actually have a less stressful daily lifestyle than they do. We don’t work quite so many hours, we can afford to go out more often than they can, and regular trips to visit friends in LA and SF satisfies our occasional need to see something other than what Fresno has to offer.

Fresno has also been a great place for young people to get their feet wet in the causes, arts, or issues that matter to them. It is much easier (and cheaper) to produce a theater piece or an art show in Fresno than in LA, SF, or the Central Coast. Getting things started here is accessible and fairly easy and people will be supportive of young people’s endeavors here. In a mid-size town these things are still novel and there isn’t a glut of people doing similar work.

The downside is the sustainability of such work in a mid-size, mid-market town whose economy hovers around “recession”, even in the best of times. That’s where the catch is for most of us. Keeping these great endeavors going – on such small budgets/salaries/donations -is incredibly difficult. Thus, the lure of eventually moving on to broader pastures.

Jeffrey Whitaker says:

Gosh dang Heather that was well put indeed. As a single man without kids 40yrs of age making 6 figs a yr it is nice to know that life in Fresno can be cheaper and simpler than our BIG City counterparts. Working only 6 days a week allows me to travel often relieving the monotony of “Fresno Life”. their are many people in our fair city that will never experience life outside of Fresno except the occasional weeknd trip to las Vegas which to me doesn’t count. I love my City, Many benefits.

pk says:

Al Jazeera…..yeah that’s a plus

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