Want work-life balance? Move to one of these cities.(Read article summary)
Achieving a true work-life balance may seem not realistic, but several US cities boast a short work day, a even shorter commute, and low monthly rent. The top city for work-life balance, according to NerdWallet, is Bloomington, Ind. where employees work an average of 31.9 hours a week.
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Looking for that elusive work-life balance? Consider moving to Bloomington, Ind..
Bloomington offers the best chance for its residents to successfully juggle work, family, and play, according to a recent study from finance blog NerdWallet. Americans living in Bloomington work an average of 31.9 hours a week and have a commute of 15.2 minutes to work. Provo, Utah and Gainesville, Fla. are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, while Eau Claire, Wis., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. rounded out the top five.
To calculate the list, NerdWallet analyzed the number of weekly hours worked, commute time, income for full-time, year-long workers, and cost of living in 536 US cities. NerdWallet used 2012 data from US Census Bureau. Those factors shaped the overall score, which determined a city’s ranking.
Many of cities at the top of the rankings have universities as their largest employers. Bloomington is home to Indiana University’s flagship school. Brigham Young University is in Provo, and University of Florida’s main campus is in Gainesville. These cities are also major hubs for retail, healthcare, and manufacturing industries.
With the exception of Gainesville, no other city on the East Coast is in Nerd Wallet’s top 10. Four of the 10 cities are in Midwestern states, three are in the West, and the rest are in the South. However, Syracuse, N.Y., did come in at No. 14. and Lynchberg, Virginia is No. 19.
Typically, the cities with best work-life balance have relatively low average incomes. For the top 10 cities on Nerdwallet's list, the average income is $37,105. In the US, the average income is $51,371. However, monthly rent in these cities is typically low, averaging $776 per month.
On the other side of the coin, which city has the worst work-life balance? Dale City, Va., according to Nerd Wallet’s calculations. Six of the "worst" cities are in California, while the rest are on the East coast.
The 10 cities with the worst work-life balance have higher incomes for full-time workers – the average income for workers in these cities is about $50,699. However, these cities also have monthly rent that is more than $1,000, longer commutes, and longer work days.
To view the complete list and see how your city stacks up, visit NerdWallet.