atlanticmagBoston-based The Atlantic Magazine has published a report today that names Jackson, Mississippi – specifically the Fondren and Midtown neighborhoods – as some of the most affordable places for twentysomethings to achieve their goals.

Writer Nonna Willis Aronowitz traveled across the country for six weeks in search of the best, avoiding already well-known “creative magnets” like New Orleans or Austin. Instead, she wrote, that Jackson is a “small pond for a big fish.”

Aronowitz wrote of the assumption that young people today are aiming for the same ideals that their parents did. “We’re realizing that those big, bustling cities have become unaffordable for those of us just starting out,” she posited. “And the house in the suburbs, with its long commutes and high gas bills, doesn’t fare much better. So where does a Millennial turn?”

Why, Jackson, of course. Of Mississippi’s capital city, Aronowitz said, “Creativity and entrepreneurship are on the rise, even as the rents remain reasonable.” Small ponds, she said, are usually DIY art scene heavy. “Jackson’s Fondren and Midtown neighborhoods have sparked a local art community,” she observed.

The article, which also noted Omaha, Nebraska, likening it to Jackson, cited familiarity and ease of doing something new.  “Many of the twentysomethings I spoke with in these towns were on a first-name basis with the mayor or city council,” Aronowitz wrote. “These cities have a growing population of young people who would rather start something from the ground up and live cheaply than scramble anonymously in huge cities.”

Hat tip to Midtown Partner’s (and Fondrenite) Catherine Lee for bringing this great piece to our attention!

Update: a feature piece, focusing exclusively on Jackson, is online as well.