What makes a city youthful? Drawing on the experience of launching the world’s first global cities ranking based from a youth perspective, we set out to dive deeper on what makes a youthful attitude. At the core of our Index are 20 categories or what we call “Urban Attributes” that youth feel are important to make a great city in which to live, work and play. But we believe that what makes a city youthful goes beyond simply infrastructure - it is also about the attitude of the city and the youth within it, perhaps all citizens. 


This report puts a definition to a youthful attitude and highlights the key perceptions of youth in their cities. We use the Urban Attributes to help define what’s important and how a city performs. We use the Urban Attitudes to define how Millennials perceive their mayors, governments, their cities overall and themselves. Together Attributes and Attitudes form a useful platform for urban leaders to build more youthful cities.

Report Available:


Top 10 Key Findings

  • A Youthful city has big benefits according to Millennials, especially economically and socially. ~50% of Millennial feel a youthful city is happier and has more jobs available.


  • Only 36% of Millennials believe they live in a youthful city so there is work to do. The good news is that the 36% who believe they live in a youthful city can be a real asset to urban leaders. Those Millennials are happy, healthy, want to contribute and want to stay in their cities.


  • Municipal Governments are not seen as youthful (only 16%) possibly because only 17% of Millennials feel municipal governments are listening to them a lot. Too bad, because 55% of youth want to participate in meeting about their city’s future.


  • Keeping Millennials in their current city will be challenging. 58% of Millennials say they will leave the city within the next 10 years, just as they become a core tax base, work force between 25-44 year olds.


  • Safety, Education and Health are most important to Millennials, likely aligning with the rest of the urban population. Fashion and Food and Nightlife are at the bottom of the list.


  • Cities perform well on some important Attributes like Education, but poorly in Environment, Employment and Affordability.


  • In terms of urgent priorities, Millennials want cities to focus on Affordability, Employment and Safety.


  • Urban Millennials consider themselves to be generally happy, healthy and entrepreneurial, but struggle to eclipse their parents financially. Youth believe they may not have the skills needed to succeed. 



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