Des Moines was ranked as one of the top “overall performing cities” in the country during the recession, according to a recent Brookings Institute report. Its low unemployment rate (6.1% in April) has buoyed the economy, while top public schooling and low living costs have made it a magnet for young families. Plus, only 17.9% of renters in this city pay more than 50% of household income for rent and utilities.
Next 2. Harrisburg, Penn.