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The Top Tech Cities in the US Ranking 100 Cities

The Top Tech Cities in the US: Ranking 100 Cities in 2024

The demand for tech professionals continues to grow as AI, machine learning and other tools advance. Some locations perform better at supporting tech professionals and students as they build their careers. We conducted an in-depth study and compiled a list of the top 100 tech cities in the U.S.

Grace MicereSamuel ChapmanJasna Mishevska

Written by Grace Micere (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-02-29T18:45:03+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

With the technology industry changing rapidly, tech pros have plenty of opportunities to scale the career ladder. However, not all locations are ideal for tech students and professionals to thrive. Additionally, not all tech cities in the U.S. offer a safe environment to live and raise a family while growing your career.

We studied the livability, career and education opportunities, internet coverage, startup ecosystem and tech communities of 100 U.S. cities to compile this list. Whether you’re a software developer or an IT support person, the best tech cities in the U.S. provide a healthy environment for you to advance and grow your professional network.

The Top 25 Tech Cities in the U.S.
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Key Findings: Most Tech-Savvy Cities in the U.S.

  • New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Plano and Jersey City have secured top positions as the overall best-ranking tech hubs in the U.S. due to their vibrant tech ecosystems and career opportunities.
  • Washington D.C., Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Chicago stand out most for their education and career opportunities in tech. These cities present a compelling blend of plentiful job openings, strong university programs in tech-related fields and a substantial presence of tech companies.
  • Texas shines on the tech scene, with Plano, Austin and Frisco showcasing flourishing tech ecosystems, ample job opportunities and innovative spirits. These factors make them prime choices for individuals seeking excellence in the tech industry.
  • In the realm of competitive IT salaries, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Irvine and Jersey City come out on top, setting the stage for tech professionals to thrive with abundant financial opportunities. 
  • On the flip side, El Paso, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Lincoln and Tulsa don’t provide good salaries for tech professionals on average.

Ranking 100 U.S. Cities for Tech Professionals

See how each city ranks for each category: livability, internet coverage and quality; career and education opportunities; innovation and entrepreneurship; and tech community. Ranking notes: 1 = best, 100 = worst. See the full table notes at the end for more details.

City, StateScoreLivabilityInternet Coverage & QualityCareer & EducationInnovation & EntrepreneurshipTech Community
1.New York City, NY65.3813356321
2.Washington, D.C.57.15676431199
3.San Francisco, CA56.53396574110
4.Plano, TX54.94321332559
5.Jersey City, NJ54.9384747114
6.Raleigh, NC54.706112283438
7.Austin, TX52.9935018111224
8.Boston, MA52.23429597322
9.Pittsburgh, PA51.6893119154523
10.Frisco, TX51.54919892816
11.San Diego, CA51.50040378929
12.Chicago, IL51.2131892556
13.Tampa, FL50.9962813125664
14.Philadelphia, PA50.392244225322
15.Los Angeles, CA50.26942491485
16.Arlington, TX50.16356752457
17.Atlanta, GA50.045719122065
18.San Antonio, TX 49.7595611197221
19.San Jose, CA48.75460501848
20.Seattle, WA48.61643819719
21.Garland, TX48.25675992762
22.Houston, TX48.0681353164440
23.Nashville, TN48.0537514215351
24.Irvine, CA47.6591051261647
25.Charlotte, NC47.5612222355442
26.Columbus, OH47.1554426314825
27.Indianapolis, IN47.0013224326326
28.Newark, NJ47.00066866103
29.Fort Worth, TX46.6083516682348
30.Miami, FL46.514498363073
31.Virginia Beach, VA46.062921587917
32.Buffalo, NY46.046413049737
33.Dallas, TX45.8382685132139
34.Durham, NC45.4413827543637
35.Chesapeake, VA45.366164968036
36.Louisville, KY45.3416820525935
37.Long Beach, CA45.2165912701375
38.Irving, TX44.969871302660
39.Chula Vista, CA44.6823715972255
40.Kansas City, MO44.581953396076
41.St. Louis, MO43.5568658106568
42.Baltimore, MD43.4341594225211
43.Cincinnati, OH43.2676266276232
44.Chandler, AZ43.0621433634189
45.Richmond, VA42.7571279247079
46.Madison, WI42.2873060466152
47.Orlando, FL42.2198075175756
48.Scottsdale, AZ42.1743446483591
49.Sacramento, CA42.1343686445512
50.Jacksonville, FL42.0834536656453
51.Gilbert, AZ42.0312028914290
52.Oakland, CA41.968993469613
53.Milwaukee, WI41.9618139367141
54.Santa Ana, CA41.8504754781750
55.Norfork, VA41.8383964348120
56.Port St. Lucie, FL41.7243551003372
57.Cleveland, OH41.6437847426633
58.Portland, OR41.5829435374634
59.San Bernardino, CA41.5256329921882
60.Phoenix, AZ41.4586978293967
61.Glendale, AZ41.0906131854378
62.Las Vegas, NV41.0195772454966
63.Henderson, NV40.8762745885070
64.Riverside, CA40.6985580721543
65.St. Paul, MN40.3638352413874
66.Greensboro, NC40.2272367558730
67.Bakersfield, CA40.1826532908915
68.Anaheim, CA40.0516774791446
69.Fort Wayne, IN39.9371725719449
70.Winston-Salem, NC39.8845340599227
71.Denver, CO39.8058889202954
72.St. Petersburg, FL39.6896661605869
73.North Las Vegas, NV39.4945144985171
74.Fresno, CA39.3952570828418
75.Minneapolis, MN39.3158482233780
76.Colorado Springs, CO39.3005462408858
77.Oklahoma City, OK 39.2608723537685
78.Aurora, CO38.9977077773161
79.Lincoln, NE38.4089310648292
80.Mesa, AZ38.2384863944084
81.Lexington, KY37.8227969806744
82.Omaha, NE37.4777765577477
83.Wichita, KS36.5469817629193
84.Reno, NV36.3994684737845
85.Corpus Christi, TX36.155748959681
86.Honolulu, HI35.3528941519094
87.Boise, ID34.9225290676898
88.Tulsa, OK33.8249748618688
89.Tucson, AZ32.8707288818387
90.Spokane, WA32.3919273769363
91.Detroit, MI31.80382100504731
92.New Orleans, LA31.7549193436997
93.Lubbock, TX31.7026438869796
94.Stockton, CA30.4447387879814
95.El Paso, TX29.53358767410095
96.Albuquerque, NM29.5328596567599
97.Toledo, OH29.5192197839528
98.Memphis, TN29.17510095387783
99.Laredo, TX23.9751998939986
100.Anchorage, AK23.85590998485100
Expand for table notes:
  • *Rank: 1 =Best; 100 =Worst
    *These numbers are comparative rankings of 100 cities and not absolute ratings.
  • Livability: Cost of living + safety + IT salaries
  • Internet Coverage & Quality: Mobile internet speed + fixed broadband speed + fiber coverage + cost of internet + % of households with internet access + % of households with a computer
  • Career and Education Opportunities: Tech job openings + university programs + number of tech-related companies + number of very large companies
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Startup ecosystems + presence of enterprise tech unicorns
  • Tech Community: Tech events and conferences + number of people aged 20-59 years

Closer Look: Top 10 U.S. Tech Cities

NewYorkCitySkyline
New York City is the best tech hub, with Washington D.C.
and San Francisco close behind as top cities.

In this section, we will take a closer look at the top 10 U.S. tech cities.

  1. New York City, NY
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Plano, TX
  5. Jersey City, NJ
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Austin, TX
  8. Boston, MA
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Frisco, TX

If you’d like to know about the process we used to pick the top cities, see the research methodology section at the end of the article.

1. New York City, New York

New York City takes the lead in our list of the top 100 tech cities in the U.S. The city has notable career and education opportunities, offering tech programs in various universities. This ranked it third overall in the career and education category. 

Additionally, New York ranks second overall for providing a conducive environment for innovations and entrepreneurship, with 36 enterprise tech unicorns. We found New York to have the most vibrant tech community in the U.S., with about half a million people aged 20-59 in the city and many tech events and conferences. This makes New York a great place to advance your tech networks.

In the last decade, New York has focused on digital transformation, resulting in over 204,000 open IT jobs in 2021. More recently, there were 2,694 IT job openings on Indeed in January 2024 alone. Tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook expanded their city offices, and over 9,000 startups were founded there. 

However, the cost of living is high, and the internet coverage isn’t as wide as we had anticipated.

2. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. comes in second overall. The city had over 260,000 open IT positions in 2020. More recently, there were 3,798 IT job openings in January 2024. Software engineers, developers, and system, network and cybersecurity engineers made up nearly half of these job postings. Additionally, IT job growth is expected to increase by 6.3% in the next five years.

Being the capital city of the country, Washington D.C. houses multiple government institutions and establishments, all of which increase the demand for IT professionals. Some private companies also provide a sizable chunk of the open positions. Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics are a few of the top tech employers in the city. 

3. San Francisco

San Francisco isn’t known only for the Golden Gate Bridge. The “sunset city” is also a great place for startups to grow, placing first in the innovation and entrepreneurship category. We also found 79 thriving enterprise unicorns there, making the San Francisco Bay Area the highest-ranked tech ecosystem in the U.S. In January 2024, San Francisco had over 16,000 tech companies and 1,310 open IT jobs.

Over 90% of households in San Francisco have access to a computer with an internet connection. 

The only downside is that the city is almost at the bottom of the list (96th) when it comes to livability, mainly due to its sky-high cost of living and crime rate. While the majority of households have internet access, the costs are quite high. 

4. Plano, Texas

In our analysis, Plano took the top spot in internet coverage. We also found 1,069 tech companies there, including offices for big corporations like McAfee, Odyssey Information Services and CompuCom Systems Inc. By May 2021, the city advertised close to 16,000 open positions. In January 2024, 619 IT jobs were advertised — that translates to 213 open IT jobs per capita (100,000 residents).

Located close to Dallas, Plano offers a perfect blend of urban and suburban, and it’s a great place to live, start a family or retire. The city ranks high in the livability index, emerging second overall due to low crime rates and a relatively low cost of living. Its 290,000 residents enjoy several employment opportunities and a vibrant entertainment scene. 

5. Jersey City, New Jersey

Between 2020 and 2021, Jersey City’s overall employment rate grew by 8.12% from 140,000 to 151,000 employees. Tech and IT jobs made up a plurality (15.5%) of all jobs created during that time. 

January 2024 saw 328 IT jobs advertised in the city, which houses 394 tech companies. In our analysis, Jersey City ranked fourth in livability due to its low crime rate and competitive IT salaries. It came seventh in internet coverage and fourth in the vibrant tech community category.

Jersey City is a great place to live due to its multicultural population and effective commute system. Residents get access to New York City without having to pay for its high cost of living. It also offers great vistas of the Manhattan skyline. 

6. Raleigh, North Carolina

Known as the “city of oaks,” Raleigh is the sixth-best tech city in the U.S. It ranked second in the internet coverage category, with over 97% of households having access to a computer. The city also has an 80% fiber internet coverage and the third-fastest fiber broadband internet speeds in the U.S. at 288.29 megabits per second (Mbps).

Raleigh placed 11th for livability since it has a relatively low crime rate and cost of living, and offers competitive IT compensation. Raleigh announced 661 IT jobs in January 2024, most of which were for software engineers and software developers. 

There are 1,256 tech companies and six tech giants in the city. Apple also announced its intentions to invest over $1 billion to build an engineering hub in Raleigh, a move which is expected to create 3,000 jobs in machine learning, AI and software engineering. Red Hat, IBM and HCLTech are some of the big IT companies with a large presence in the city.

7. Austin, Texas

Texas’s capital, Austin is a good place for startups since it’s easy to find top talent, initial capital and inexpensive office space. Austin advertised over 64,000 tech jobs in 2021 and 2,160 IT jobs in January 2024. 

We found 5,775 tech companies and 16 tech giants based in Austin. Companies like General Motors, IBM, Dell, Deloitte and Amazon are the top employers there, offering competitive salaries to their employees. 

However, due to the rapid rise in population (3% between 2021 and 2022), the cost of living has increased and access to good real estate has become more costly. Even so, the city’s distinct culture, access to educational opportunities and work-life balance continue to make Austin a popular choice for many IT professionals. 

8. Boston, Massachusetts

Next up, Boston ranks third in providing a conducive environment for startups, innovations and entrepreneurship, with over 4,000 tech-related companies, 20 very large tech companies and nine enterprise unicorns in the city. Boston houses big tech companies like IBM, HubSpot and Dell, creating a steady supply of IT jobs. 

The number of employees in Boston dropped from 384,000 to 374,000 between 2020 and 2021. This was partly due to COVID-induced economic downturns that saw more people leaving cities. Nonetheless, the city had 13 university tech programs and 1,356 open IT job postings in January 2024, so Beantown continues to attract fresh talent to live, learn and work there.

9. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia 

Coming in ninth is “Steel City.” The employment rate grew by 1.62% from 1.16 million to 1.18 million employees between 2020 and 2021. There were 671 open IT jobs advertised in Pittsburgh in January 2024, many in emerging fields like robotics, software engineering, AI and computer science. 

There are 1,392 tech-related companies and five very large tech enterprises in Pittsburgh. Additionally, tech giants like Google and Amazon have their offices in the “city of bridges.”

With the population rising to over 300,000 by January 2024, Pittsburgh is a relatively affordable place to live with a fairly low crime rate, ranking 33rd in our livability category. The city placed 23rd in the vibrant tech community category and 45th in its ability to provide a conducive environment for startups and innovations. 

10. Frisco, Texas

IT professionals make up the second-largest occupation set in this north Texas city, making up about 12% of the total workforce. Frisco advertised 106 tech jobs in January 2024. IBM, Oracle and Amazon are among the big tech companies that have set up shop in Frisco. The city also houses 517 smaller tech companies.

According to our experts, Frisco is the most livable city in the U.S. Its low tax rate, low crime rate and reasonable cost of living make it a popular choice for IT professionals. The city’s population grew by 2.52% between 2020 and 2021. Frisco also has a vibrant tech community, ranking 16th overall. 

Best Cities for Tech Enthusiasts, Ranked by Category

Aside from the overall ranking, it’s interesting to see how the 100 evaluated cities performed in each category. Some cities that didn’t make the top 10 list emerged as the best in other categories. Let’s take a deeper look at these categories and see how the cities performed in each one.

The Best Tech Hubs for Cost of Living & Tech Salaries in the U.S.

When ranking cities in the cost-of-living category, we considered factors like safety, living expenses and the IT salaries that each city offers. 

Rank: 5 Best CitiesRank:5 Worst Cities
1. Frisco, TX100. Memphis, TN
2. Plano, TX99. Oakland, CA
3. Port St. Lucie, FL98. Wichita, KS
4. Jersey City, NJ97. Tulsa, OK
5. Arlington, VA96. San Francisco, CA

Frisco took the top position in the livability category. It’s one of the safest places to live, ranking second overall in the U.S. The city offers a competitive average IT salary of $95,516 yearly. The total crime rate per 1,000 residents in Frisco is 10.56. 

Frisco was followed closely by Plano, where IT professionals earn $95,733 yearly on average and the total crime rate per 1,000 residents is 18.3.

Memphis has the worst living circumstances in our analysis. Although the city offers competitive IT salaries — averaging over $78,810 yearly and ranking second overall — it’s not the safest place to live. According to our study, the total crime rate per 1,000 residents is 80.5, which is over 10 points higher than the second worst city (Oakland at 70.03). In addition, Memphis’s cost of living is 85.8, which is quite high.

The U.S. Cities With the Best Internet Coverage & Quality

We compiled this category by analyzing the mobile and fixed broadband internet speeds, fiber coverage and the internet costs in each city. Our experts also considered the percentage of households that own a computer and have internet access, which is important for successful remote work.

Rank: 5 Best CitiesRank:5 Worst Cities
1. Plano, TX100. Detroit, MI
2. Raleigh, NC99. Anchorage, AK
3. Kansas City, MO98. Laredo, TX
4. Chesapeake, VA97. Tulsa, OKToledo, OH
5. Garland, TX96. Albuquerque, NM

Plano placed the best overall in this category. It has a median mobile download speed of 216.25 Mbps and a median broadband internet speed of 249.02 Mbps — which are good internet speeds. In Plano, 95.9% of households have internet access, while 98.6% own a computer. 

Raleigh ranked second — its broadband internet speed is 288.28 Mbps, 92.8% of households have internet access and 97.1% own a computer.

On the other hand, Detroit didn’t do so well. It has among the lowest broadband internet speeds (112.24 Mbps) and only 2% fiber optic coverage. In addition, only 76% of its households have internet access. 

Anchorage didn’t fare well, either, with 0% fiber coverage, low mobile internet speeds (53.28 Mbps) and high internet costs. That said, the city has high broadband speeds of 205.6 Mbps, and over 92% of its households have internet access. 

The Top U.S. Cities for Tech Jobs, Companies & Education

In this category, we researched the number of tech job openings, universities offering tech programs, tech-related companies and very large tech enterprises (over 10,000 employees) per capita. 

Rank: 5 Best CitiesRank:5 Worst Cities
1. Washington, DC100. Port St. Lucie, FL
2. Atlanta, GA99. Garland, TX
3. New York City, NY98. North Las Vegas, NV
4. San Francisco, CA97. Chula Vista, CA
5. Chicago, IL96. Chesapeake, VA

Washington took the top slot in this category. It had 3,798 tech job openings in January 2024, the highest number in our analysis. We counted an astounding 35 tech giants in the city, 3,360 smaller tech companies and 12 tech-related university programs. 

Meanwhile, Atlanta houses 35 tech giants and 4,418 smaller tech companies. It came second because it had 2,405 tech job openings in January 2024 and 11 tech-related university programs. 

Port St. Lucie took last place in this category because it had only 13 IT job openings in January 2024. The city has just 34 tech-related companies, no tech giants and no tech-related university programs. 

Garland also had only 17 IT job openings and no university tech-related programs. However, it didn’t rank last because there are 91 tech companies in the city, and 40 tech events and conferences are held there. This is likely due to its proximity to the business-friendly Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

The Top U.S. Cities for Startups & Innovation in the Tech Sector

Here, we analyzed the startup ecosystems of each city and checked if they facilitate a conducive environment for startups to flourish. We also checked the presence of enterprise tech unicorns (a company valued at $1 billion or more before selling any public stocks) in each city to come up with this ranking structure.

Rank: 5 Best CitiesRank:5 Worst Cities
1. San Francisco, CA100. El Paso, TX
2. New York City, NY99. Laredo, TX
3. Boston, MA98. Stockton, CA
4. San Jose, CA97. Lubbock, TX
5. Chicago, IL96. Corpus Christi, TX

San Francisco tops the list, placing first regarding its presence of enterprise tech unicorns. StartupBlink ranked it as the city with the best startup ecosystem in the U.S. It has 79 enterprise tech unicorns and 83 pantheon member entities that contribute to its vibrant startup ecosystem.

New York City came second in this category. According to StartupBlink, it has the second-best startup ecosystem and houses 36 enterprise tech unicorns.

On the flip side, El Paso has fewer startups than any city evaluated and no enterprise tech unicorns. According to our research, its wealthy residents prefer to invest in real estate, and the city government prefers to invest in small businesses with proven models, rarely supporting innovative tech startups born in the area.

The Best U.S. Cities for Tech Talent & Community

In this category, we considered the number of individuals aged between 20-59 years old, since they make up the majority of the tech workforce. We also analyzed the number of tech events and conferences held in each city.

Rank: 5 Best CitiesRank:5 Worst Cities
1. New York City, NY100. Anchorage, AK
2. Philadelphia, PA99. Albuquerque, NM
3. Newark, NJ98. Boise, ID
4. Jersey City, NJ97. New Orleans, LA
5. Los Angeles, CA96. Lubbock, TX

New York City took the day in this category. It has the most vibrant tech scene in the U.S., hosting 102 tech events and conferences when we checked in January 2024. The city also has over 4.5 million individuals aged 20-59. What’s more, the Big Apple is the preferred destination for many local and global tech conferences and events.

Philadelphia ranked second in this category. It has over 868,000 people aged 20-59 and hosts 96 tech events.

Conversely, Anchorage came last in this section since it’s expensive to conduct events in the city. The weather may also serve as a disadvantage, since temperatures in Alaska tend to be very low. Events might need to be planned outside of months and seasons with extreme weather conditions like blizzards. As a result, only one tech conference is held in the city.

Even though Albuquerque doesn’t host any tech events, it beat Anchorage to become the second-worst choice because it has more people aged 20-59 years — 301,706 to Anchorage’s 161,618.

Research Methodology: How We Found the Top 100 Tech Hubs in the U.S.

When coming up with the list of the top 100 tech cities in the U.S., we began by selecting the 100 most populated cities in the country. We then identified 17 distinct tech-related factors and organized them into five overall categories for a comprehensive assessment. Finally, we totaled the scores for all five categories, resulting in the final ranking.

We assigned weight points to each factor to reflect its importance, which allowed us to prioritize those factors in the final rankings. We’ve listed the factors and their weight points below, starting with the overall livability of the cities.

Livability (20 points):

  • IT Salaries: 7 points
  • Cost of Living: 6.5 points
  • Safety (crime rate): 6.5 points

Internet Coverage & Quality (30 points): 

  • Fiber Coverage: 7 points
  • Mobile Internet Speed: 7 points
  • Fixed Broadband Internet Speed: 7 points
  • Number and Percentage of Households with Computers: 3 points
  • Number and Percentage of Households with Internet Access: 3 points
  • Cost of Internet: 3 points

Career & Education Opportunities (25 points):

  • IT Job Openings: 8 points
  • University Tech-Related Programs: 7 points
  • Tech-Related Companies: 7 points
  • Very Large Companies (over 10,000 employees): 3 points

Innovation & Entrepreneurship (15 points):

  • Startup Ecosystem: 9 points
  • Unicorns: 6 points

Tech Community (10 points): 

  • Tech Events and Conferences: 5 points
  • People Aged 20-59: 5 points

Final Thoughts

With this list of the 100 most tech-savvy cities in the U.S., you can choose the ideal place to live and work as you grow your tech career or expertise. While the number of open positions, average salaries and internet coverage do matter, it’s important to also consider your safety. Living expenses and the presence of a vibrant tech community for networking purposes are beneficial factors to keep in mind too.

Cities that offer good startup ecosystems are worth considering since they give you the chance to innovate and develop exciting, new IT solutions for the global market. Who knows — you could be the next SpaceX or OpenAI.

Are you looking for the right tech hub to move to? Do you currently live in one of these cities, and can offer your feedback to what it’s like to live and work there? Are there other tech hubs  or cities with a growing tech scene you think we should have considered? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

FAQ: Best Cities for Tech Workers

  • San Francisco has the most tech companies in the U.S. It’s home to several unicorns including OpenAI, Miro, Chime and Instacart.

  • California is the state with the most tech companies. The famous Silicon Valley is located there.

  • The San Francisco Bay Area has the best tech talent in the U.S. It’s followed by New York Metro area and Washington D.C.

  • San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland are the cities with the highest tech salaries in the U.S.

Sources:

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