15 Cities Where People Are Prepared to Work from Home

comfortable remote worker houseplants
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This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused record numbers of Americans to transition to remote work. As COVID cases have surged across the country, recent CDC guidelines suggest that workers should be allowed to work remotely if they can. While many jobs are suitable to a remote work environment, most are not. Using data from the Census Bureau as well as a recent study by University of Chicago researchers, about 31 percent of U.S. workers are employed in remote-friendly jobs, but this varies substantially on a geographic level. Additionally, not everyone who works in an occupation that can be performed remotely is well-positioned to do so. Differences in computer and high-speed internet access, as well as available space in the household, all impact an individual’s preparedness for remote work.

Working from home typically requires both a computer and a high-speed internet connection. According to data from the Census Bureau, nearly a quarter of U.S. households don’t own a computer and close to 30 percent lack broadband internet, such as cable, fiber optic, or DSL. Not surprisingly, owning a computer and having high-speed internet tend to go hand in hand. At the state level, states where more households own computers are also home to more households with high-speed internet. On a regional level, the South is less prepared to work from home — Southern states tend to have lower rates of home computer ownership and fewer households with broadband internet.

In addition to having the necessary hardware and internet access, being able to create a clear boundary between your home life and work life can make all the difference when working from home. Having a suitable home workspace is associated with increased telework satisfaction and self-reported productivity. Workers with a spare bedroom at home will find it easier to create a dedicated workspace than those whose only option is a shared living area, such as the kitchen or dining room table. For example, while the San Francisco metropolitan area is home to a disproportionate number of laptop workers with high-speed internet access, a majority of these workers don’t have extra space for a home office, making full-time remote work more challenging in the Bay Area than in areas with more affordable housing.

To find the metropolitan areas in the U.S. most prepared to work from home, researchers at Filterbuy ranked metro areas according to their composite score. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

Keep reading to learn which large metros, those with 1 million or more population, are most prepared for residents to work from home.

15. Kansas City, MO-KS

Kansas City, Missouri
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  • Composite score: 81.35
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 32.2%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 79.7%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 73.5%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 64.0%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

14. Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Composite score: 81.55
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 32.6%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 75.8%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 73.5%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 67.2%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

13. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Downtown Seattle
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  • Composite score: 81.58
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 36.6%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 87.1%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 82.3%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 57.0%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.3

12. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 81.70
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 34.7%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 86.6%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 76.6%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 61.8%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.5

11. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Tampa, Florida
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  • Composite score: 81.97
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 31.8%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 81.3%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 75.9%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 64.4%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.6

10. Columbus, OH

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  • Composite score: 82.01
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 32.9%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 80.4%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 77.3%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 62.2%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.7

9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Philadelphia, downtown evening rush hour.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 83.32
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 33.9%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 80.0%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 77.6%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 61.8%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

8. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 83.36
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 32.9%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 79.0%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 76.1%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 66.7%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.7

7. Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 83.74
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 33.4%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 78.1%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 70.4%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 70.9%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

6. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Composite score: 84.48
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.9%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 81.4%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 75.6%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 63.3%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

5. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver Colorado
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 85.40
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.8%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 86.1%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 80.6%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 61.5%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.7

4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Composite score: 85.67
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.1%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 83.8%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 77.1%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 63.3%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington, D.C.
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 85.72
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 38.1%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 87.6%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 82.7%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 58.8%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.7

2. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 86.99
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.0%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 82.8%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 76.8%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 65.6%
  • Median household rooms per person: 3.0

1. Raleigh-Cary, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite score: 87.69
  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: 35.9%
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: 84.6%
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: 78.6%
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: 66.0%
  • Median household rooms per person: 2.7

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Remote worker with benefits
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The Raleigh, North Carolina, metro area ranks as the most prepared large metro to work from home. Nearly 36 percent of Raleigh workers are employed in remote-friendly jobs, over 5 percentage points higher than the national level. A large proportion of Raleigh households have computers and high-speed internet, and 66 percent have at least one spare bedroom, meaning most households have space for a home office. Other large metros that are most prepared to work from home rank highly in all or most of the composite score factors.

The small and midsize metros that are most prepared to work from home are scattered across the country, with many of these metros on the East Coast or in the Midwest and West. These metros have a higher-than-average number of workers in remote-friendly jobs and tend to have large percentages of households that have computers and broadband internet. While 60 percent of households in the U.S. have a spare bedroom, closer to 70 percent or more of households in some of the small and midsize metros most prepared to work from home have spare bedrooms that could be used as home offices.

To find the metros in the U.S. most prepared to work from home, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS PUMS) and a novel dataset from a recent study on remote-friendly occupations. The researchers created a composite score based on the following factors:

  • Percentage of workers in remote-friendly jobs: the share of workers employed part- or full-time in 2019 in occupations that can be done from home
  • Percentage of households with a laptop or desktop computer: the share of households that own at least one laptop or desktop computer
  • Percentage of households with broadband internet: the share of households with a high-speed internet subscription, such as cable, fiber optic or DSL
  • Percentage of households with at least one spare bedroom: the share of households that have an extra bedroom, offering the possibility of a home office
  • Median household rooms per person: median number of rooms in households (including bedrooms, living areas, kitchens) per person

Metro areas were ranked according to their composite score. Additionally, metros were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1 million or more

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

10 of the Best Ways Anyone Can Save on Car Costs

Woman with money in car dealership
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New or used, sporty or practical, a car keeps wringing money out of its owner throughout its lifetime. Gas, oil changes, accidents — no question, a car is an expensive family member.

But for many of us, a car is also a necessity. Until that “Star Trek” transporter technology arrives, we’ll be driving — and fixing, filling up and coaxing — our cars to keep running for years.

That’s why even the smallest ways to save on car costs are important. From the right insurance policy to simple car-maintenance tips, knowing how to keep your car’s monetary demands at bay can leave more cash in your wallet.

Rev your engines — here are tips for saving on car costs that everyone can use.

1. Shop around for a better rate

hands Blue Toy Car On The Reflective Desk
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Switching vehicle insurance companies might save you a bundle.

In “6 Real Ways to Save on Your Car Costs,” Money Talks News writer Miranda Marquit suggests using The Zebra, a car insurance search engine, to get free quotes for changing your coverage.

To use The Zebra, visit the website and enter your ZIP code. Answer some basic questions, and get your quotes. You can also find the best car insurance options listed by state and vehicle. The Zebra does not sell users’ information to third parties or spammers, so you won’t get sales calls from doing a search.

Gabi is another car insurance search engine. In under two minutes, you can easily submit your current insurance policy and let Gabi shop around for the best coverage, delivering as many as 20 quotes.

Or, if you prefer, use The Zebra’s licensed insurance brokers to ask questions and understand your options.

2. Keep tires properly inflated

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Driving with properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by an average of 4%, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports.

That one improvement will show up at the gas pump.

And it’s easier than ever to do. You can find digital and analog gauges to buy for a few dollars that are easy to use and read. Some newer vehicles may even sport a digital readout of the inflation level for tires.

3. Trim your car insurance premiums


Take a little time to shave even more off your vehicle insurance bill. Start by reading Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s “How to Get the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.”

Next, try these steps:

  • Call your insurance agent. Ask how you can save on your insurance. For example, discuss raising your deductibles (which may lower your premium) or whether it is no longer worthwhile to pay for comprehensive and collision coverage for an older vehicle. Also, ask about getting a deal for bundling your auto insurance with other policies, such as homeowners or renters insurance.
  • Take a defensive driving class. Careful drivers are cheaper to insure. If you’re an AARP member, there’s even an online course you can take. CarInsurance.com says: “[S]tates may require insurers to offer certain discounts to encourage good driver behavior — such as taking defensive driving courses.”

4. Rent out your car to help pay its upkeep

Man in car receiving keys.
Ivanko80 / Shutterstock.com

Get your car to help earn its keep by renting it to other people when you aren’t driving it.

Turo is a car-sharing marketplace, sort of like an Airbnb for vehicles. Turo’s website is where people who want to rent a ride can see what’s available in their area.

Our article “How to Make Extra Money Renting Out Your Car” has the details.

5. Don’t be a car snob

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When you buy or lease your next car, think seriously about getting a less-expensive model.

Here’s where you can save thousands of dollars from the start simply by choosing a Mazda over a Mercedes, or a slightly used car over a brand-spanking-new vehicle.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson says he’s never bought a new car, since a new vehicle loses thousands in value the minute you drive it off the lot.

Depreciation can account for nearly 40% of the expense of owning a new vehicle, costing you more than $3,000 per year, Money Talks News reports.

6. Take care of your car

Lemusique / Shutterstock.com

You don’t have to baby your car, but don’t ignore its needs, either.

Regular oil changes, air-filter replacements and even things as simple as new wiper blades can keep it purring longer.

7. Handle small repairs yourself

antoniodiaz / Shutterstock.com

Not everyone is a mechanic. But these days, many simple car-maintenance items can be performed at home by even fairly new drivers.

Oil changes, tire rotations and air-filter replacement don’t really require a professional to do them. Get started by following the steps in “8 Car Repairs and Maintenance Tasks You Can DIY.”

Other good ideas:

  • Ask a handy friend to show you how to do maintenance jobs the first time.
  • Take a basic car know-how course at your community college.

8. Relax your hot foot

Alexandru Nika / Shutterstock.com

If your speed goes up, your gas mileage will go down. There’s no trophy for being the Mario Andretti of your Minnesota suburb.

Likewise, don’t slam your foot down on your brake pedal either. You’ll extend the life of your brake pads by coasting or easing into stops rather than constantly pounding on the brakes.

9. Use cruise control

Holyshyn Oleh / Shutterstock.com

Know how and when to engage your cruise control, and don’t be afraid to use it. AARP estimates doing so can reduce your highway fuel usage by 7%.

Depending on how much you drive and how much of that travel is on the highway, you could save $100 or more annually.

10. Be smart about gas

Vera Petrunina / Shutterstock.com

Someday, we may all have electric cars. But until then, gasoline will remain a major part of your car budget.

Be smart about where you buy it and how you pay for it. Many grocery stores or credit cards offer loyalty points that can be used at certain gas stations. Don’t let those go to waste.

Also, try checking into smartphone apps, like GasBuddy, that can help you locate the cheapest price on gas near you.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

13 Bizarre Job Interview Questions — and How to Answer Them

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Just the thought of a job interview can make even the most confident prospective employee nervous. So much is riding on how you answer seemingly random questions asked by people you may never have met before.

Will they dig into the technical aspects of the job, making you wish for a calculator and a cheat sheet? Do they prefer those old cliche questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” Or do your interviewers subscribe to the wacky logic school of questions, like “Explain why manholes are round”?

You can’t buy an SAT prep book to prepare for a job interview, but here are some of the toughest job interview questions around, with tips on how to answer them gracefully, without breaking into a chorus of “Take This Job and Shove It.”

1. How weird are you?

Nagy-Bagoly Arpad / Shutterstock.com

Online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos is known for posing some real stumpers to job candidates. The late Tony Hsieh, who was CEO of the firm, reportedly liked asking job candidates: “On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?”

Tips: This is one of those no-right-answer questions. Interviewers are likely looking to see if you can think on your feet and produce a decent response off the top of your head. They also want to know how you’d fit into their culture. One of Zappos’ core values is: “Create Fun & a Little Weirdness.”

2. Sell me this pencil

Bella Logachova / Shutterstock.com

Job site Monster.com singles out “Sell me this pencil” as a job-interview challenge sometimes faced by those seeking sales jobs. It kind of makes sense — we’ve all met natural salespeople, and turning on that kind of charm in an interview can reveal whether you’re one of them.

Tips: Your interviewer is looking for confidence, so avoid stammering or trailing off when searching for uses for the writing instrument. The best salespeople know to ask a prospective buyer plenty of questions first, to determine if he or she needs the product they’re hawking.

3. Why are manhole covers round?

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It’s a cliche interview question, but that doesn’t mean an interviewer won’t throw it at you: “Why are manhole covers round?”

While not all employers use this kind of question, you don’t want to be unprepared if they do.

Tips: The most common answer is that the cover won’t fall into the hole, but if you can defend a different answer, go with it. It may be as simple as redefining the question — pointing out that manhole covers need to fit a manhole, and in this country, at least, manholes are generally round.

4. What are you most passionate about?

Vasyl Shulga / Shutterstock.com

Another question is to ask candidates to explain what they are most passionate about. It’s a cliche, but it’s widely used, so be prepared.

Tips: Your answer doesn’t need to be related to your career field. If you brew beer at home, explain how that’s done. If you raise pugs or play fantasy football or know all the best tricks for collecting frequent-flyer miles, that could be your response. Your interviewer probably wants to see how well you explain yourself, how you think about process and how you deal with ambiguity — all vital skills in the workplace.

5. The cup of water challenge

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This one’s not a question but a hidden challenge. An interviewer might brings you a disposable cup of water to drink. It looks like a simple act of hospitality, but you may be under observation to see if you clean up after yourself and dispose of the cup when done.

Tips: Just as those signs in office break rooms say, your mother doesn’t work here. (And even if she did, it’s not her job.) Remember the cup example as a way of reminding yourself that sly interviewers may be watching everything you do, even if it doesn’t seem directly related to the position you are applying for.

6. Why shouldn’t I hire you?

Employer looking at resume
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

You’re sitting there telling the employer all about why he or she should hire you — and you’re hit with the opposite question: Some managers ask why they shouldn’t hire you. Ugh, nice curveball. Be ready to swing away.

Tips: A similar question some interviewers like to ask is, “What would your enemy say about you?” Think about the position you want. If you’re never going to have to make sales calls, it won’t hurt to admit that you aren’t a cold-calling salesperson at heart. But salespeople also come with a natural enthusiasm about their product or business, so be careful to find a way to show you have that.

7. Where should we eat?

frantic00 / Shutterstock.com

Mike O’Neill, the CEO of music-rights company BMI, has asked job candidates to choose the restaurant where their interview will be held. He wants to see if they’re trying to impress or please the possible future boss, or if they’re honestly choosing a place they like.

Tips: O’Neill likes honesty to be on the menu as part of his restaurant test. He notes that he loves it when candidates confess that choosing the restaurant made them nervous — there’s nothing like candor, even if it makes the candidate look less than perfect. We’d steer clear of either end of the budget spectrum — neither fast-food nor four-star dining. Go for something eclectic, yet reliable — like you!

8. Are you smart, or do you work hard?

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Another tried and true interview question is this: Which would you say is more true of you, that you are smart or that you work hard?

We’re thinking most candidates want to say they’re both, but imagine you have to choose.

Tips: Some bosses believe that hard work, showing up, diligence and consistency matter more than brains. Whatever you say, don’t explain that your intelligence means you don’t have to work hard. Humility matters a great deal in the workplace.

9. Where does your boss think you are right now?

Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

Making time for a job interview when you’re still employed can be tough. It suddenly can get a lot tougher if your interviewer asks where your current boss thinks you are right at that moment. Uh, busted?

Tips: The interviewer probably wants to know how you treat your current boss as a sign of how you will treat your boss at a new company. Be honest but tactful. Sure, you may not have specified to your current boss that you were going on an interview, but make it clear that you are not taking time you’re not entitled to and that, of course, you’ll finish whatever work needed to be done while you were out.

10. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

CHIARI VFX / Shutterstock.com

Some interviewers relish the bizarre logic of questions like “How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?” Or “How many golf balls can fit into a school bus?”

Tips: You don’t need to get the answer right — no one knows the answer anyway. What interviewers want here is to see how you walk them through the method you use to attempt a solution, says job search site The Muse. Talk through the size of the bus and the size of the golf balls, and make sure you think of oddball elements of the problem, like the space needed for the bus seats. Even a nongolfer can take a swing at this one.

11. Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

Gerisima / Shutterstock.com

This is another of those inane questions meant not to elicit a precise answer but to see how you think on your feet: Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

Tips: Don’t quack up, you can get this. It’s likely that the interviewer wants to know if you can stay poised under pressure and how you will break down a problem to solve it. Like the golf balls in the school bus question, there’s no right answer. And unlike that one, this requires less knowledge of sizes and spatial awareness and relies more on creativity. Think about the pros and cons of each battle, and then go ahead and wing it.

12. How have you solved tough problems?

vasilis asvestas / Shutterstock.com

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of electric motor company Tesla, CEO of SpaceX and the world’s richest person, has said that he asks job candidates this: “Tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solved them.” While he may want to hear the answer, it is another tricky interview question.

Tips: The question may not be bizarre, but Musk’s motive is unusual. CNBC explains that he asks it to screen for liars. “The people who really solved the problem know exactly how they solved it,” Musk said. “They know and can describe the little details.”

13. Which state would you get rid of?

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Another well-used job interview question you might encounter is this: “If you were to get rid of one U.S. state, which one would it be, and why?”

It’s reminiscent of a bit on “The Simpsons,” when Grandpa writes to the president of the United States to lobby for eliminating three states. “There are too many states nowadays, he grumbles, adding, “P.S.: I am not a crackpot.”

Tips: This is another zany question that tests how your thought process works. Be aware: It may also reveal plenty about you and your values. Maybe you would start with Alaska or Hawaii for practical distance reasons. You might think outside the box and suggest combining two similar states, say, North and South Dakota, into one. Really, any thoughtful answer should be fine, but don’t bring politics or some weird personal grudge against, say, Rhode Island, into the picture.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

10 Cities Expected to Attract Millennial Homebuyers in 2021

young homebuyers first houseyoung homebuyers first house
Rocketclips, Inc. / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

The homeownership rate in America peaked at a little more than 69% in 2004 before falling to 63.7% in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Despite the fact that it rebounded to a little more than 65% in 2019 overall, only 36.4% of Americans younger than 35 own their homes.

It may be easier in some places, though, for this younger cohort to buy homes. To that end, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities where people younger than the age of 35 are most likely to own their own home — and to see where this number has gone up in recent years.

To find the cities where more under-35 residents are buying homes, we compared the homeownership rate for this demographic in 2009 with the homeownership rate in 2019 for 200 of the largest U.S. cities. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

1. Midland, TX

Midland, Texas skylineMidland, Texas skyline
NaturallyKristina / Shutterstock.com

Midland, Texas, has seen a 10-year increase of 17.11 percentage points in the homeownership rate among people younger than 35, the largest growth seen in this study. The total homeownership rate for that age cohort in 2019 was 52.42%, the fourth-highest rate we found for that metric. Together, this makes Midland the top place where more young residents are buying homes.

2. Cape Coral, FL

Cape Coral FloridaCape Coral Florida
mginley / Shutterstock.com

The homeownership for younger Cape Coral, Florida, residents in 2019 was 55.54%, the third-highest rate in the study for this metric. That’s an increase of 8.71 percentage points compared with 2009, and the fourth-highest increase for this metric across all 200 cities we considered.

3. Joliet, IL

Joliet IllinoisJoliet Illinois
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

Joliet, Illinois, located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, had a homeownership rate of 63.48% for under-35 residents in 2019, the highest rate of all the cities we studied. Joliet ranks ninth for the 10-year change in homeownership, increasing 5.48 percentage points from its 2009 rate of 58.00%.

4. Mesquite, TX

Mesquite TexasMesquite Texas
mivod / Shutterstock.com

Mesquite, Texas, is part of the Dallas metro area, and in 2019 the homeownership rate there among residents younger than 35 was 45.46%, ranking it 11th in our study. But in 2009 the rate was just 35.47%, meaning the increase over 10 years was 9.99 percentage points, third-place for this metric.

5. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, CaliforniaBakersfield, California
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Bakersfield, in central California, ranks 20th for homeownership rate among younger people in 2019, at 39.75%. That’s a 10.01 percentage point increase over the 10-year period from 2009 to 2019, the second-highest jump for this metric in the study.

6. Aurora, CO (tied)

Aurora ColoradoAurora Colorado
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

Aurora, Colorado, ranks 15th for the 2019 homeownership rate among people younger than 35, at 42.28%. That is an increase of 5.29 percentage points from 2009, the 10th-largest jump we observed in the study.

6. Port St. Lucie, FL (tied)

Port St Lucie FloridaPort St Lucie Florida
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fifth-highest homeownership rate among younger people in 2019, at 51.93%. It ranks 20th for its 2.70-point increase in that percentage from 2009.

8. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, ArizonaGilbert, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com

Gilbert, Arizona, located near Phoenix, has the eighth-highest homeownership rate among residents younger than 35, at 50.08%. That was an increase of 2.69 percentage points since 2009, good enough for 21st place in that metric.

9. Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne IndianaFort Wayne Indiana
Travis Eckert / Shutterstock.com

Fort Wayne, Indiana, ranked 17th in both of the metrics we measured for this study. The homeownership rate among those younger than 35 was 41.24% in 2019, a 3.32 percentage point increase over the previous 10 years.

10. Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Rancho Cucamonga CaliforniaRancho Cucamonga California
Tim Gray / Shutterstock.com

The final city in the top 10 of this study is Rancho Cucamonga, California, which ranked 21st for under-35 homeownership in 2019, at 39.39%. That is a 3.77 percentage point jump since 2009, the 14th-biggest increase we observed across all 200 cities in the study.

Data and Methodology

Happy couple buying a home in a new cityHappy couple buying a home in a new city
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

To find the cities where more young Americans are buying homes, SmartAsset examined data for 200 of the largest cities in the U.S. We considered two metrics:

  • 2019 homeownership rate for those under 35. This is the homeownership rate among 18- to 34-year-olds. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • 10-year change in the homeownership rate for those under 35. This compares the homeownership rate among 18- to 34-year-olds in 2009 with the rate in 2019. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 and 2019 1-year American Community Surveys.

First, we ranked each city in both metrics. Then we found each city’s average ranking and used the average to determine a final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Meditation: An opioid alternative


In light of the opioid crisis, doctors are searching for alternatives to help patients in chronic pain. Physical therapy, numbing creams, different drugs – these are all common alternatives.

But here’s a new one: meditation.

There’s science to meditation. Pain creates a stress response in the body that can cause anxiety, causing a bigger stress response and more anxiety.

“It’s this vicious circle which can be slowed down by narcotics or by other mindfulness techniques,” Marco said.

And while opioids flood the brain with dopamine, studies show that meditation can increase dopamine naturally.

Marco recommends a couple apps to his patients: Back Doctor and Stop, Breathe and Think. You can find both of those for free in the App Store. The exercises trigger the body to make endorphins.

Read entire article here.

Meditate with Urmila: How to do it daily – gulfnews.com


I often get asked, ‘How can I set up a daily practice of meditation?’ The answer is quite simple: ‘By setting up the resolve!’

But how do I ensure that I follow my resolve, it is asked. Well, this question is valid too. And the answer is: by practicing affirmations. You can practice affirmations anywhere and everywhere: “Today, I will sit for meditation, no matter what.”

You can repeat this until it sinks into you fully. Or visualise yourself sitting in meditation, enjoying the calm and stillness.

This is how you set up the resolve; bring it back in your mind again and again, until you remember it fully, imbibe it completely and feel the benefits.

Resolve is important for people who waver or find excuses. Excuses have no nature, they could be anything. The most common one is: ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ Others include; ‘I am not cut out for it or it’s a long shot to peace.’

People find excuses because they do not have faith that they can attain something by sitting at one place. The belief that rushing around is the way to get things done is strong. People lack trust in the inner self and hence make up excuses. When they trust ‘I can do it,’ they will do it.

It is not uncommon to face initial frustration in not being able to concentrate. Initially, concentration may be difficult. You see, you are tuning into a new vibration; the vibration of stillness, peace and quiet. Tuning into that frequency takes practice.

People try and give up meditation as well. That is because they again get caught up in the drama of the external world. Perhaps they find the drama juicy or perhaps it is a way to cope up to their inhibitions. For either category, getting back is possible. Setting up a resolve is helpful.

How long?

In daily practice, 15-20 minutes is good to begin with. Gather yourself first. When you have gathered yourself and are able to slip into that mode effortlessly, you can gradually increase the time. Pick a time in the day when you are able to concentrate the most.

In the context of how long to practice in life, the answer is: as long as you want. As long as you feel the need to discover yourself. Self-discovery is a very interesting journey. There are so many aspects of yourself that you will realise you have. You are your own biggest mystery to solve. You may take years to solve your own (self) puzzle. There is so much task at hand, yet you get caught up in everyone’s drama but your own.

How do you know your meditation is working?

It depends on what results you are looking for. It will reveal if you are clear on the goals of your meditation. You will see discernible changes in those areas.

For example, if you want good relationship with your family and friends then meditate with that intention. Set your affirmations; tell your body, mind and soul. Tune yourself to the frequency of love. Tell your being: “I have healthy relationship with… I thank him/her for being in my life, for teaching me the lessons of patience or kindness or compassion or.” Extend appreciation as the frequency of appreciation is high. When you give out your appreciation, you raise your vibration.

Know that no one comes into your life without a purpose. So, thank him or her for the lessons they have taught you. Think of it as a great service the person has done to you in the path of your growth and your evolvement by bringing the lessons that you needed to learn. Appreciation and compassion extended in this vibratory manner is not lost. You will start seeing improved relationship with the person.

Set up a resolve and follow it. Back up with affirmations and thank yourself for following through with the resolve. Extend and express gratitude to self and others, be compassionate and bask in the purity of your soul. Bask in the purposeful living of yourself.

— Urmila Rao is a chakra balancing meditation coach and a certified Theta healer-practitioner. She can be reached at milarao2018@gmail.com.

How To Find And Reopen Your Blocked Chakras

chakras meditation

Each of the seven chakras is important for its own individual reasons.

When all seven chakras are open we experienced happiness and health. But just one single closed chakra can cause serious health problems, both mental and physical.

So how do we keep our chakras balanced?

One of the best ways is to know the signs of blocked chakras. Once you know how to spot a blocked chakra you can take the necessary steps to reopen it.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of blocked chakras and how to reopen them.

The Signs Of Blocked Chakras And How To Reopen Them

Root Chakra: The root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the color red and the mantra Lam.

This chakra is all about being rooted. When this chakra is open we feel grounded, connected to Earth, and rooted. This can help with self-confidence and inner-calm.

When the root chakra is blocked it can cause insecurity, fear and anxiety. Thankfully, we can reopen this chakra. To do so, work on facing your fears and letting go. Eating root vegetables and walking barefoot will also help.

Sacral Chakra: The sacral chakra (Swadhisthana) is located two inches below the navel and is associated with the color white and the mantra “Vam” This chakra holds the basic needs for sexuality, self worth, creativity and intuition.

When the sacral chakra is closed it can caused lack of emotions, lack of sexual satisfaction, and feelings of guilt.
To reopen this chakra, investigate any concerns that are bothering you and take steps to fix them. Surrounding yourself with beauty is also helpful, as is meditating on the mantra “Vam”.

Solar Plexus Chakra: The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) is located in the navel area and is associate with the color yellow and the mantra “Ram”. This mantra is important for personal power and ego and is responsible for anger, impulses and strength.

When the Solar Plexus Chakra is blocked it can cause insecurity, frustration, and fear of rejection. We can balance this chakra by spending more time in the open air, taking better care of ourselves and particularly of our image, and playing sports.

Heart Chakra: The Heart Chakra (Anahata) is located in the centre of the spine, close to the heart. It is associated with the color green and the mantra “Yam”. This chakra is all about love, compassion, and spirituality. When it is balanced we feel love and kindness for both other people and for ourselves. But when it is close we feel dissociated, negative about other people, and unappreciative of those who are in our lives. One of the best ways to open the heart chakra is to volunteer. This lets us help those in need, which can be a great source of compassion. Meeting new people and enjoying positive relationships will also balance this chakra.

Throat Chakra: The Throat Chakra (Vishuddi) is located in the throat and is associated with the color blue and the mantra “Ham”. This chakra is all about communication, sound, and clarity of thoughts and speech. When this chakra is closed we will be deceptive and will not speak the truth. When it is open we will communicate and think clearly and honestly.

Opening the throat chakra requires clear communication. Practice singing, talking, thinking and writing, and always aim to be honest and clear.

Third Eye Chakra: The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) is located between the eyebrows and is associated with the color indigo and the mantra “Om”. When the third eye chakra is open we have access to our psychic powers and have great insight into ourselves and the world around us. When it is closed we struggle to focus, have a hard time remembering, and can suffer from nightmares. Opening the third eye chakra can be done through meditation and by practicing the Shambhavi Mudra or Eyebrow Gazing Mudra. It can also help to spend time star-gazing and to meditate on nature.

Crown Chakra: The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) is located above the head and is associated with the colour violet and the mantra “Ah”. This chakra is all about spirituality and enlightenment. When this chakra is open we experience pure consciousness and wisdom. When it is closed we become too attached to material possessions, and can feel meaningless and depressed. To open this chakra, try meditating on the mantras “Om” and “Ah” and begin to think of yourself as being one with the universe. Practicing Dhyana Meditation will help with this.


When we have seven open and balance chakras we will experience health and happiness and we will have a positive relationship with ourselves and the world around us. While negative events can cause chakras to close, we can reopen them by practicing meditation (particularly Chakra Meditation) and by taking the steps listed above.

About the author

Paul Harrison is a spiritual author and meditation teacher in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has studied meditation for twenty years and has read hundreds of books, attended lecturers, and learnt via gurus. He shares his wisdom on his blog TheDailyMeditation.com. Be sure to read Paul’s guide to Chakra Dhyana meditation today so you can experience the joy of seven balanced chakras.

Do meditation sounds help you sleep or meditate?

meditation sounds
Meditation Sounds : Help or Hindrance ?

Someone asked me this question. Perhaps the person who asked this question is trying to do a survey to collect data about this question.  That is to know how many people attain a deep state of meditation or fall into a state of sleep in the presence of a meditation sound.

In Meditation practice, there have been many sounds like bells, soothing background music, the natural sound of flowing water, cold breeze, ocean waves etc which have been found very useful in the meditation practices the world over.

In my opinion, meditation sounds acts as a helpful tool in creating an environment of ease and comfort while meditating. There has been not much use of these sounds in the actual meditation practice (except when we are talking about the specialized sounds – the Mantras which have an exclusive meditation technique dedicated to them).

During the guided meditation practice (which nothing but a general name given to step by step meditation instructions given to a group or individual by a guide/master/teacher) the use of meditation sound (particularly a soothing background music) is very common. The light background music during meditation helps the practitioners in maintaining  a focus on the instructions by decreasing the possibilities of distractions.  The background sounds helps in creating a unique atmosphere of attentiveness where every other sound gets receded in the background.

As regards the sleep induction when a meditation sound is played, it is very much possible to fall into sleep. However, the likelihood of the same is very remote and only the absolute beginners in meditation can get affected by it. Further, those meditation practices which require lying down (with  eyes closed) may lead to practitioner fall into sleep in the background of a soothing sound. However, again, it depends upon the temperament (and to some extent  experience ) of the practitioner that he or she will fall into sleep or not.

So in my opinion, it would be too unrealistic to come to any definite conclusions regarding role of meditation sounds in the matter of meditation or sleep.  In majority of cases, meditation sounds helps in the practice than the other way around.

How to know if Meditation is working for You


How to know if Meditation is working for me?

Or :  Am I making progress in Meditation ?

When you start doing meditation on regular basis, these questions will keep bothering you.  In this article we will discuss about some changes you will experience in your practice to know if Meditation is working for you or not.

Just like any other endeavor worth doing, it is natural for us to be curious about our progress in Meditation. This is really important to make any course correction in between like tweaking the practice, changing the schedule or trying an altogether different meditation technique.

So, how to know if Meditation is working for you ?

Since everybody in this world is different, it is difficult to give a general answer for this question. But still here is this : You will start feeling some  positive changes in you. 

One of the most visible changes will be an increase in the depth of your awareness. It will happen very slowly but it is bound to happen.  You will realize that all along you will be living this life in a sleep state. There was no attempt to be a witness of your own thoughts and you were a slave to the desire of your mind. Now as you start meditating, you will get a chance to contemplate on these desires and their root. It is just like withdrawing yourself from the role of a character you are playing in a stage called life and sitting in the audience to watch the play.

I know that reaching at the stage of witness is not an easy task. It takes time and consistent practice but its glimpses start appearing in the very early stage itself. Suppose you are trying to meditate for the past 20 minutes and  every time you focus your attention on your breathing, your mind wanders and make you involve in a thought process. The arising of thoughts in your mind are so strong that you find it impossible to stop it. However, then after getting involved in the wandering of the thoughts you suddenly realize that you are suppose to focus your attention on the breathing.  And then you come back and align your focus on the breath.  Then again, after a few seconds, your mind wanders again.  Then after a few minutes you again realize that the mind has wandered. And it goes on. ..

Now, tell me honestly. Who tells you during this process that your mind has wandered ?  Think about it.

It’s the witness inside you. It starts showing its glimpses in the initial practice itself.

Apart from a realization of the witness, what are the other changes one can expect ?

The process of meditation, when done properly, is a huge stress buster. The problems, challenges, misfortune, ill luck, the stress of the daily life, the constant demands from various people you come into contact on daily basis – None of them will go by Meditation. They all will remain to bother you at every step of your life. However, when you start meditating, these things will no longer make you miserable.  After every session of meditation, you will find energy and confidence in dealing with all of them.  Though it is difficult to explain the reasons behind this phenomenon, the very process of meditation kicks in positive change in our outlook towards life. You will find yourself better prepared to tackle with all the issues that surrounds you on daily basis.

Meditation is not a miracle that will fulfill all your wishes. But it is a miracle that will makes you think over the relevance of those wishes and achieve  a proper perspective about them.

So, how to know if meditation is working ? If you are doing correctly, you will get to know yourself. The accompanying benefits that will come through meditation will be the proof enough that it is working for you.

Maintain a Healthy Body in Five Steps : A Mini Guide.

When it comes to taking care of your health; always remember that small efforts make a big difference. Since we are so much caught up in our strenuous daily routines; we find it a bit challenging to take time out to exercise and to take notice of our diet regimes till the day we are hit by a disease.

All of us at some point in our lives have taken our health for granted which is a price our bodies have to pay later. Don’t do that!  Your health is the most valuable asset of yours; take care of it in the best way possible. It’s a gift from God which you should cherish forever. Want to maintain a healthy body from this year and looking to find some motivation to do so? Here is your easy 5 steps guide towards a healthy lifestyle.

1. Watch Your Diet:

 You are what you eat! The day you will start watching over what you are eating on regular basis is the day you will take the first step towards living a healthy life and having a healthy body and mind. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, take lean meat and fish and get rid of junk food, sugar and bakery items. Even if you are unable to exercise regularly; taking care of your diet and intake of good proteins will help you to acquire an ideal weight and a good body.

Maintain a Health Body
How to gain a healthy body in Five Steps

 2. Increase Intake Of Water:

Our bodies have 70 percent of water in them. That’s how important water is for our health. An average adult requires 8-10 glasses of water everyday to fill up his or her body needs. But too often we ignore this basic aspect of living a healthy lifestyle and drink just 3-4 glasses of water per day. Not good at all! Try increasing the water intake in your body and see the difference in your health within just 2-3 weeks.

3. Watch The Portions:

 If you are thinking about starting off with a good diet plan; try looking for one that does not involve starving for long hours. Although no dietician and diet planners ever recommend starving yourself in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy body but still we tend to think this way. Try cutting down your food intake into small portions that you can eat after every 2 hours. In addition to it; take lots of natural fluids and green tea.

4. Regular Exercise:

 Now here comes the best part! Make it a part of your daily routine to exercise for not more than an hour and you will be amazed at the results you will obtain after a couple of weeks. Try home bound exercises if you are unable to go outside or join a gym. Buy a pair of weight bunch or dumbbells that you can easily put in your home or in your office.

5. Think Positive:

 A healthy mind bears a healthy body. Life is full of ups and downs and we often start thinking negative if something good is not happening in ours. Never let your mind wander into the caves of negativity as this will completely damage your inner peace and your body. Generally the obese people tend to be more depressed than the others and in this way; they will never be able to overcome their weaknesses. Life is beautiful, live it in the best way possible.

Author Bio:

 Ida Jones is a mother of two little ones. She enjoys home-based workouts, cardio exercises and long runs. She loves spending her vacations outdoors with her kids around nature. She believes in clean and healthy eating. She regularly writes about fitness tips and much more at Fitness Grit.