Yelp and Zillow Share the Most City-Like Suburbs — and the Most Affordable

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Image Credit: Renee Rodenkirchen

Thanks to coronavirus, city dwellers are fleeing urban centers for the 'burbs at increasing rates, likely in search of more space and better access to nature. Plus, as many companies have switched to remote work, people are no longer tied down by geography for their jobs.

Curious about the best suburbs in your area? Yelp and Zillow teamed up to develop the Cityness Index, which rates suburbs across the country. The study factors in business activities from the restaurant industry to the arts scene in order to determine how "city-like" a given suburb is.

Check out the results below for the most city-like suburb in the United States's 25 largest metropolitan areas.

The Top Suburb in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

  • Edison, New Jersey (New York)
  • Lancaster, California (Los Angeles)
  • Joliet, Illinois (Chicago)
  • Denton, Texas (Dallas)
  • Pasadena, Texas (Houston)
  • Frederick, Maryland (Washington, D.C.)
  • Sunrise, Florida (Miami)
  • Marietta, Georgia (Atlanta)
  • Lowell, Massachusetts (Boston)
  • Concord, California (San Francisco)
  • Sterling Heights (Michigan)
  • Rancho Cucamonga, California (Riverside)
  • Tempe, Arizona (Phoenix)
  • Everett, Washington (Seattle)
  • Oceanside, California (San Diego)
  • Spring Hill, Florida (Tampa)
  • Annapolis, Maryland (Baltimore)
  • Westminster, Colorado (Denver)
  • Beaverton, Oregon (Portland)
  • Rock Hill, South Carolina (Charlotte)
  • Elk Grove, California (Sacramento)
  • Hamilton, Ohio (Cincinnati)
  • Independence, Missouri (Kansas City)
  • Georgetown, Texas (Austin)
  • Hampton, Virginia (Virginia Beach)

Yelp and Zillow have also compared their Cityness Index to the home values, sale inventory, and rental inventory to determine the most affordable city-like suburbs across the country. (You can check out the methodology for both lists here.)

Top 10 Affordable U.S. Suburbs with a City Feel:

  • Waterbury, Connecticut (New Haven)
  • Lowell, Massachusetts (Boston)
  • Joliet, Illinois (Chicago)
  • Sunrise, Florida (Miami)
  • Pasadena, Texas (Houston)
  • Lancaster, California (Los Angeles)
  • Hampton, Virginia (Virginia Beach)
  • Marietta, Georgia (Atlanta)
  • Norman, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
  • Tempe, Arizona (Phoenix)

Would you be willing to leave city life behind in favor of one of these suburbs? If so, keep an eye on the housing market in the 'burbs above — you might find a great deal!


Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.

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