No one would argue that Silicon Valley is still the unparalleled center of the tech and startup universe in America. But few would also debate the point that other cities are starting to give the Valley a run for its money.

With the Bay Area facing an unprecedented housing crisis and technology making it easier than ever before to start a high-growth business elsewhere, other clusters of tech talent are starting to coalesce across the country. But where exactly?

Real estate site Homes.com recently used a data-driven approach to find out. The site crunched through a wealth of data, including numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on media wages and job availability for certain key tech jobs like computer programmer and web developer, as well as federal data on house price trends. The goal was to find cities with lots of cool tech jobs but a less insane housing situation.

"With tech companies setting up shop in these new cities across the country, professionals don't have to choose between the job of their dreams and the home of their dreams. It's possible to get a great job and invest in a three or four bedroom home that's likely to increase in value, whereas the same money in the Bay Area will have you living in a truck in the Google parking lot," commented Homes.com's Grant Simmons. Here's the top ten they came up with:

  1. Denver, CO
  2. Framingham, MA
  3. Oakland, CA
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Boston, MA
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Santa Ana, CA
  8. Baltimore, MD
  9. Durham, NC
  10. Boulder, CO

And here's a graphic for a little more information.

Check out the company's blog post for details on each what earned each city it's place on the list. Denver, for instance, stood out for its exceptionally educated population, while Framingham got extra points for the big tech companies like Bose and CA Technologies who have their headquarters there. Oakland's average house prices are higher than some of the other cities, but then again it's super close to everything the Bay Area has to offer.

The ranking was designed for tech talent looking for alternative cities that offer a high quality of life, but it's obviously of interest for entrepreneurs looking for a home base as well. If a place is attracting great tech talent, it will be rich pickings for those looking to recruit too. And founders like to live in nice houses as much as anyone else.

Published on: May 17, 2016