Moving On

This Map Locates The Best Places To Live To Ride Out A Recession

It might be time to move out of New Jersey and head west.

Michael H/Stone/Getty Images

These past few years have been particularly challenging for families between the pandemic, inflation driving up the cost of living, and we’ve been on the cusp of a recession for years. Some numbers show that a recession is all but confirmed, and people are trying to prepare should that become the case. This is in part why a new report from SmartAsset is turning heads. It offers data and a map that shows which places in the best places in the U.S. to ride out a recession.

To find the best places to ride out a recession, SmartAsset analyzed 429 places in the U.S., collecting information across four categories, including employment, housing, social assistance, and the economic stability of each town or city.

They further broke down these categories to include unemployment rates, mortgage delinquency rates, percentage of the population on public assistance, percentage of residents with health insurance, and the percentage of residents below the poverty level to rank each place from best to worst in an easy-to-read map.

It’s important to note that there are limitations in the SmartAsset survey. The numbers don’t consider that recessions can vary greatly from one city or town to the next. Also, the potential impact of a recession will vary depending on the nature of the recession and of course personal finances, investments, and individual exposure.

“While no one can predict the future, we can look at the past and present to understand which places are most poised to withstand the economic repercussions of a recession,” SmartAsset explains, but there were some interesting takeaways.

Colorado might be the place to move to since the top two cities are in the state due to the high percentage of people with health insurance and the low percentage of people who rely on social assistance. Other cities that fared well include Kansas, which had three cities in the top 10, Washington, which had two cities; and California, which had three cities in the top 10.

The data also shows that Florida might not be the best place to live out the recession despite it being a popular destination to retire. With 44 cities on the total list, there wasn’t one city that cracked the top 50. Same for Texas, which had 28 cities on the list, the highest ranked 54 and the lowest ranked 427.

Best cities to ride out a recession:

  1. Castle Rock, CO
  2. Highlands Ranch, CO
  3. Overland Park, KS
  4. Kirkland, WA
  5. San Mateo, CA

Worst cities to ride out a recession:

  1. Camden, NJ
  2. Augusta, GA
  3. Pasadena, TX
  4. Reading, PA
  5. Rockford, IL

To read the full report, check out SmartAsset.