Whatever the reason, the United States provides plenty of different options for people looking for the hustle and bustle of big city life. Those of you who are still trying to pick the city of your dreams should have a look at the following list, where we break down the 10 largest U.S. cities by population and compare some of their key features. Hopefully, this guide will provide you with the push you need to choose a new city and start planning your move.
1. New York City, NY
The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps. New York City has been called many things over the years, but one thing nobody can call it is boring. NYC is home to some of the most famous (and infamous) neighborhoods in the country-perhaps even in the world. Artists and writers abound in historic Greenwich Village, while dreamers flock to trendy Williamsburg to create startup craft breweries. NYC also holds the nation's financial epicenter (in the form of Wall Street) and the beating heart of its culture (Broadway).
- Current population: 8,550,405
- Median Home Price: $849,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2800 per month
- Come for the: bright lights and tall buildings
- Stay for the: dive bars and street meats
2. Los Angeles, CA
For those of you who prefer people spread out instead of stacked on top of each other, LA might be preferable to the skyscrapers of New York City. One thing's for sure: the weather sure doesn't get as cold. Also known as "Tinsel Town," "La La Land," and "The City of Angels," LA is home to countless Hollywood stars, as well as plenty of musicians and visual artists. Those of you who want to remain close to nature may also enjoy the various woods, trails, and beaches that surround the city and its suburbs, making it easy to get away from the city whenever you need a break.
- Current population: 3,971,883
- Median Home Price: $775,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2220 per month
- Come for the: celebrity sightings
- Stay for the: spectacular night sky views from Griffith Observatory
3. Chicago, IL
"The Chicago way" isn't just a phrase coined by Sean Connery in the hit 1987 gangster movie The Untouchables. It's also a phrase you could use to describe the so-called "Windy City's" unique Midwestern charm-vibrant and energetic, but plainspoken and straightforward. Chicago residents are busy people, and there's certainly a lot to do here: high-quality restaurants and well-curated museums abound in this Lake Michigan-area metropolis. Architecture enthusiasts will find plenty to become excited about too-the buildings are simply beautiful.
- Current population: 2,720,546
- Median Home Price: $245,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1761 per month
- Come for the: deep dish pizza
- Stay for the: gut-busting laughs with The Second City improv troupe
4. Houston, TX
Not all big cities hug the coastlines (or the Canadian border). If you're thinking about moving inland, why not consider the Lone Star State? Houston is the largest city in Texas, and it boasts a variety of attractive features-such as relative affordability and a stable job market. It's also home to the famous Houston Space Centre (and you probably won't "have a problem" visiting it).
- Current population: 2,296,224
- Median Home Price: $282,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $954 per month
- Come for the: cowboy hats
- Stay for the: tex-mex
5. Philadelphia, PA
Fine art, haute cuisine, rich history... Philadelphia has it all. One of the most culturally-rich cities in America, Philly overflows with artists and musicians. Don't mistake the "City of Brotherly Love" for a pretentious town, though. After all, this is also the birthplace of The Philadelphia Eagles, Philly Cheese Steaks, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There's plenty for people from all walks of life to enjoy.
- Current population: 1,567,442
- Median Home Price: $165,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1350 per month
- Come for the: Liberty Bell
- Stay for the: wildlife at the sprawling Philadelphia Zoo
6. Phoenix, AZ
Looking for a sunny city? Have a thing for the desert? Phoenix might just be the new city for you. Winter is practically just a theory out here in Arizona, but you can always escape to the nearby mountains if you want to change your surroundings a little. Phoenix is also a prime spot for golf enthusiasts, with some of the most impressive courses in any major metropolitan area in the country.
- Current population: 1,563,025
- Median Home Price: $285,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $863 per month
- Come for the: arid beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden
- Stay for the: bangin' nightlife in the city's effervescent club scene
7. San Antonio, TX
Houston isn't the only city in Texas that can thrill you with big city vibes. San Antonio used to be known as the historic home of the Alamo, but today it's much more than just a thriving throwback to the Wild West. The hot job market makes San Antonio an excellent place for new families and career-hunters, while numerous festivals provide entertainment throughout the year.
- Current population: 1,469,845
- Median Home Price: $235,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $843 per month
- Come for the: picturesque San Antonio River Walk
- Stay for the: unique ambiance and creative drinks at the Buckhorn Saloon
8. San Diego, CA
Ron Burgundy is wrong: San Diego was not discovered by the Germans in 1904, and it was named after Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino, not.. well, you've seen the movie. Anyway, they don't call it "America's Finest City" for nothing. San Diego is proliferating as it becomes a hot destination for beach-bums and urban professionals alike. If you're the kind of person who loves maintaining an active lifestyle and can't spend enough time in the fresh air, San Diego has everything you could hope to find in a new city.
- Current population: 1,394,528
- Median Home Price: $649,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1793 per month
- Come for the: flying fish (and other marine wildlife) at San Diego SeaWorld
- Stay for the: breathtaking views from the rugged peninsula of Point Loma
9. Dallas, TX
Texas makes the list for a third time as we begin to reach the bottom, with a city that residents charmingly refer to as "The Big D." That "D" could stand for "diversity" since Dallas is an exciting melting pot of numerous diverse cultures and lifestyles. It could also stand for "Development" since Dallas is well-known for being home to some of the country's best opportunities in business and technology.
- Current population: 1,300,092
- Median Home Price: $385,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1043 per month
- Come for the: morbid historical magnetism of the infamous Dealey Plaza
- Stay for the: pristine natural ambiance at White Rock Lake
10. San Jose, CA
Wrapping it up in 10th place is the third Californian city to make the list: the progressive and polished San Jose. It's known everywhere as "The Capital of Silicon Valley," so San Jose serves as a mecca for tech-entrepreneurs. However, it's also one of the most livable cities in the United States, and the largest city in Northern California.
- Current population: 1,026,908
- Median Home Price: $750,000
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2367 per month
- Come for the: life-size Santana Row Chess Plaza
- Stay for the: chance to discover the secrets of the Winchester Mystery House