Okay, so technically Chicago didn't make our list, but we live and work in this amazing city and are impressed by how much our own tech scene has taken off in recent years, so we had to give ourselves an honorable mention. And you can't really blame us.
According to Crain's Chicago Business, tech employment in Chicago grew 25.8 percent from 2010 to 2013 – even faster than growth in Silicon Valley! And it's still growing. According to a more recent report by Built in Chicago, more than 33,000 Chicagoans worked in tech in 2012. By 2015, that number jumped to more than 54,000.
Helping tech entrepreneurs are accelerators like Techstars Chicago, and co-working spaces like Assemble. We also have some pretty fantastic networking events for techies, like Built in Brews.
Beyond all that, Chicago has a lot going on that makes it an appealing city for anyone. For example, we have…
- More than 700 public works of art.
- 18.5 miles of lakefront paths.
- More than 225 miles of bike lanes.
- Free concerts and movie screenings in Millennium Park all summer.
- More than 100 neighborhoods, many of which host their own festivals during the summer and fall.
- Lincoln Park Zoo, one of only three major free zoos in the country.
- A World Series win for our beloved Cubs after 108 years of patiently waiting.
- And finally, three words – deep dish pizza!
We think Chicago is pretty great, and, no offense to the other cities on our list, but we can't think of anywhere we'd rather live and work.