With the tumultuous economy and changing job market, more people are relocating to new cities. Whether for a new job, a family decision or just to explore a new city, consumers need specific information to determine where to move and to predict how this move will affect them.

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(Melbourne, by Linh Rom / Flickr)

(image: Linh Rom / Flickr)

By Divya Raghavan at Nerd Wallet

With the tumultuous economy and changing job market, more people are relocating to new cities. Whether for a new job, a family decision or just to explore a new city, consumers need specific information to determine where to move and to predict how this move will affect them. There are four main considerations that should be made when considering a move.

1.  Cost of living

Cities vary widely in terms of their cost of living. San Francisco, California, for example, is twice as expensive to live in as Memphis, Tennessee. Use a cost of living calculator to determine how your expenses will change as you move cities.

You should also think about how these expenses will affect you and your unique situation. Do you need a car? Parking can be prohibitively expensive in Manhattan. Would you like to own your own home, or are you willing to rent? Cities vary in the availability and cost of homes for sale.

2.  Quality of life 

U.S. cities differ greatly from each other in terms of demographics and culture. Figure out what your ideal city is like and prioritize what is most important to you. Do you want your city to be ethnically diverse? Young? Walkable? Explore your potential new city on NerdWallet’s City Life Tool, where you can find plenty of information on the demographics and quality of life in various U.S. cities as well as compare cities to each other.

3.  Availability of jobs 

While some cities are unequivocally better for job seekers overall, you should take into account your own skills and interests. Some cities are hubs for certain industries—for example, San Antonio, Texas is home to several large cybersecurity companies, and Baltimore, Maryland and Cleveland, Ohio attract many healthcare workers with their world-renowned hospital systems.

4.  Quality of schools 

If you’re a parent, you may want to make sure that there are good public schools (known as a state school in the UK) or affordable private schools (known as independent schools in the UK) in which you can enroll your children. NerdWallet’s Cost of Living Calculator includes the public school ratings for the 300 largest U.S. cities, and our City Life Tool displays the public school rating, private school availability and average private school tuition costs for 26 of the largest U.S. cities.

By doing their research on potential cities, consumers are empowered to fully understand how moving will impact them, and they can catch a glimpse of what life will be like in their future city.