Ultimate List of 21 Cities for Liberals

golden gate bridge
golden gate bridge

Centered mainly on the liberties of the individual, liberalism emerges as a political and ethical ideology widely observed in numerous prominent urban areas across the United States of America. Despite conservative dominance in certain states, studies suggest a direct association between the size of a city’s populace and its propensity for liberal inclinations and agendas. Within each of these progressive cities, voters exhibit a preference for groups and politicians that address matters concerning social justice, emphasize secularism, and oversee economic transactions.

1. San Francisco, CA

Celebrated as a prominent societal and cultural center, this coastal region city has garnered the reputation of being the most progressive locale in the United States. Notable for its heterogeneous populace and a substantial number of university-educated residents, San Francisco’s left-leaning policies can be ascribed to factions that typically support the Democratic Party. Despite being a highly frequented tourist spot with occasional congested roadways, inhabitants cherish San Francisco for its temperate summer climate, vibrant cultural scene, and significant historical sites.

San Francisco has a population of 883,255 individuals.

2. Washington, DC

Coming in a near runner-up position to San Francisco, Washington, DC holds the distinction of being the United States’ second most progressive urban center. Renowned for its legacy of progressivism, inclusivity in minority activism, and existing liberal political leadership, Washington, DC houses the nation’s Capitol Building and the White House, in addition to a multitude of Smithsonian institutions and memorials. As a result, this city is teeming with cultural and educational opportunities. There is an abundance of places to acquire knowledge, delve into new experiences, and actively participate!

The total population of Washington is 714,153.

3. Seattle, WA

Being the most populous city in Washington state, Seattle epitomizes the perfect equilibrium between metropolitan refinement and breathtaking natural vistas. From athletics and commerce to artistic endeavors and thrilling escapades, Seattle thrives as an exceptional residential destination. Moreover, this city on the west coast is renowned for being economically conducive to families, providing an excellent environment to raise children within a progressive context. A fascinating tidbit: Seattle houses the headquarters of Amazon, resulting in a plethora of delivery employment opportunities and an abundance of convenient retail establishments!

776, 555 citizens live happily in Seattle.

4. Oakland, CA

Oakland is another city in California that appeals to individuals with liberal viewpoints, offering an impressive range of social and public services. Local residents in this eastern bay area are encouraged to participate in political and recreational organizations, making it an attractive location for both young and old liberals. The city is brimming with activity, as it serves as California’s busiest trading harbor, and potential residents should be aware that the average cost of living in Oakland is relatively high compared to neighboring cities.

Oakland is populated with 440,981 residents.

5. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts

Pulsating with celebrations, holiday retreats, and historic attractions, Boston is a lively metropolis. Furthermore, Boston is renowned for its esteemed higher education institutions, such as Harvard and MIT. For progressives in pursuit of a renowned academic experience in one of the United States’ most illustrious urban centers, this region abounds with educational prospects.

Boston has a population of 695,506 people.

6. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is a flourishing cosmopolitan center adorned with residential districts and emerging enterprises. Situated in close proximity to the Mississippi River, Minneapolis stands as a diverse blend of cultures. Inhabitants of this urban haven relish in the availability of prominent sports arenas and a delectable assortment of multicultural gastronomy found throughout the nation. Notably, the city council comprises 12 members affiliated with the Democratic party, one member from the Green party, and two members who identify as black transgender individuals. Despite persistent racial tensions within the city, Minneapolis remains dedicated to fostering social justice initiatives and proudly upholds its reputation as one of the most hospitable states for refugees.

Minneapolis has a population of 439,012 Americans.

7. Detroit, MI

Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, demonstrates a steadfast dedication to elevating employment rates, providing assistance to poverty-stricken residents, and channeling investments into municipal services and infrastructure. At present, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are being utilized to enhance Detroit’s communities, rendering it an appealing destination for liberals seeking a place to establish roots. Moreover, Detroit holds the distinction of being the largest city in the United States situated along the Canadian border. Given Canada’s reputation as one of the most inclusive countries worldwide for immigrants, Detroit becomes a significant hub for cultural exchange and international crossings.

Detroit is populated with 664,139 American individuals.

8. New York City, NY

Arguably the most renowned city in the United States, New York City— The Empire City, the City that Never Sleeps, America’s City—is also the most densely inhabited urban center in the nation. In fact, it holds the distinction of being the largest metropolitan region globally in terms of its urban expanse. New York exerts a substantial impact on the nation’s culture, media, fashion, academia, economy, and politics. For progressives who relish being amidst the energetic vibrancy and constant activity, there is no superior location.

New York City is the home place for 8,804,190 American citizens.

9. Buffalo, NY

Experiencing a notable resurgence in recent times, Buffalo has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. Once renowned for its harsh climate and equally chilling crime statistics, the city has now blossomed into a vibrant hub adorned with reinvigorated fashion boutiques, hotels, historic structures, residential districts, and educational institutions. According to reports, Buffalo is considered one of the prime locations to reside in New York due to its expanding availability of educational and professional prospects. Furthermore, the city offers an affordable cost of living, which holds significant appeal for potential homeowners, given its rapidly growing population.

Buffalo has a population of 254,290 people.

10. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore presents an exclusive residential option for progressives, owing to its status as an autonomous city, operating independently from Maryland’s counties and serving as a distinct and officially recognized political entity. This region bears a strong influence from its proximity to Washington, DC, and proudly hosts the renowned Johns Hopkins University. Local officials display unwavering commitment to improving and expanding employment prospects, as well as ensuring accessible public transportation for individuals with disabilities. Remarkably, Baltimore boasts a greater number of monuments and historical structures than any other city in the country.

Baltimore has a total population of 575,584 residents.

11. Chicago, IL

Chicago Skyline aerial
Chicago Skyline aerial

Recognized as “The Windy City,” Chicago holds the distinction of being the largest city in Illinois and the third-largest city in the United States. Similar to Oakland, Chicago’s cultural landscape is significantly shaped by its role as a prominent trading hub. Moreover, with around a dozen Fortune 500 companies calling it home, the city generates a substantial GDP that ranks among the highest globally. In recent times, Chicago has displayed a strong commitment to reproductive rights, public health services, and the preservation and promotion of its indigenous cultural heritage. Situated within a region that holds deep significance as the homeland of Native American peoples, the city’s current political leaders are actively striving for a more inclusive community that acknowledges and respects these Nations.

Chicago in Illinois is populated with 2,679,082 people.

12. Portland, OR

Considerably smaller in size compared to metropolises such as New York and Chicago, Portland provides its residents with a delightful amalgamation of urban and natural surroundings. Renowned for its remarkable commitment to sustainability, Portland stands as an exemplar of environmental consciousness among its populace. It is a common sight to witness individuals cycling, jogging, engaging in recycling practices, tending to gardens, composting, exploring whole foods establishments, or leisurely strolling through farmers’ markets. Despite representing a typical mixture of different generations, locals attest to an overarching atmosphere that distinctly embodies the millennial ethos: characterized by a casual, laid-back demeanor, reserved disposition, and a fervent passion for all things botanical.

The total population of Portland is 662,549.

13. St. Paul, MN

When considering top-notch healthcare, environmental excellence, recreational opportunities, and cultural offerings, St. Paul emerges as one of the premier cities in the United States. The unfettered business atmosphere fosters a quality of life that is nearly as unique as the widely recognized “Minnesota Nice” stereotype. Situated on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River from its twin city, Minneapolis, St. Paul exudes a serene ambiance and places greater emphasis on its parklands, educational institutions, and downtown districts from an economic standpoint. This makes it an exceptional location to secure employment, forge meaningful connections with neighbors, and establish a settled lifestyle.

St. Paul has a total population of 310,368 people.

14. Austin, TX

Not many individuals would initially presume that a city in Texas could be characterized as liberal, but Austin undeniably fits the bill. With its undulating terrain, rural charm, prominent oak trees, renowned local breweries, and flourishing economy centered around technology enterprises, Austin stands out as one of the finest cities in the United States for those looking to purchase a home. In 2019, Austin achieved the remarkable distinction of being ranked as the best place to live in America for the third consecutive time. To further cement its allure, Austin proudly holds the title of the greenest city in Texas, serving as an oasis of lush greenery and vibrant landscapes amidst the scorching Texan desert climate.

Austin is populated with 1,011,786 individuals.

15. St. Louis, MO

Yet another urban center situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, St. Louis harbors a remarkable array of thriving enterprises, renowned educational institutions, baseball teams, the globally acclaimed Gateway Arch, and a multitude of significant figures from American history. Although the climate tends to be rather humid, the range of outdoor pursuits is virtually boundless, encompassing art galleries, a local zoo, botanical gardens, and al fresco dining establishments. When compared to other urban centers, the cost of living in St. Louis is notably more budget-friendly, rendering it an excellent choice for liberal individuals in search of economically feasible healthcare and housing options.

The total population of St. Louis is 294,890.

16. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” grants its inhabitants all the advantages of a metropolis while exuding the delightful ambiance of a small community. If the bustling populations of New York and Washington, DC appear overwhelming for your individual preferences, Philadelphia emerges as the ideal destination. Positioned in close proximity to major cities and popular travel destinations, yet not entirely engulfed in the frenzy, residents of Philly enjoy the best of both realms. In recent times, approximately 80% of individuals in the Philadelphia region have cast their votes in favor of the Democratic Party during presidential elections, rendering it a remarkable environment for like-minded liberals to thrive and coexist harmoniously.

Philadelphia has a total population of 1,585,008.

17. New Orleans, LA

The originator of jazz music and yearly host of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is unquestionably marvelous. This breathtaking metropolis draws in hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, upholding its reputation for being receptive and embracing of all cultures and ways of life. Whether you visit for the family-oriented attractions or the unparalleled nightlife, New Orleans consistently leaves a lasting impression and provides endless entertainment.

The total population of New Orleans in Los Angeles is 388,424.

18. Los Angeles, CA

As the domicile of Hollywood, several of America’s most eminent popular cultural phenomena, and significant BLM and LGBTQ+ movements, it is common knowledge that Los Angeles stands as one of the most progressive cities globally. The pleasant climate and forward-looking mindset allure millions of U.S. residents to make this city their home, perpetually enriching its ethnic and cultural variety. LA particularly garners a reputation for magnetizing aspiring artists, actors, and musicians, making it an ideal destination for those immersed in such spheres. And it cannot be denied: In & Out Burger simply possesses a superior taste in LA.

Los Angeles in California is populated with 3,983,536 individuals.

19. Pittsburgh, PA

Ranked as one of America’s finest residential destinations, Pittsburgh extends a warm embrace to both free spirits and innovators, providing ample opportunities for civic engagement. Individuals with liberal inclinations seeking to invest in homeownership instead of leasing costly apartments will find the cost of living in this city much more affordable compared to larger liberal metropolises. Young adults establishing themselves in Pittsburgh express a sense of empowerment as they advance their careers and enthusiastically partake in nonprofit entities and communal endeavors.

Pittsburgh has a total population of 299,718 residents.

20. Denver, CO

Denver Colorado downtown with City Park
Denver Colorado downtown with City Park

Denver, known as the “Mile High City,” provides a perfect haven for individuals who relish outdoor escapades. Set amidst the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, this refined urban center not only justifies its moniker with its breathtaking surroundings but also with its ever-evolving atmosphere of inclusivity. Locals passionately extol the enhanced familial experience that comes with residing in Denver, as the heterogeneous communities and easily accessible natural splendor of the region transform it into an exceptional natural haven for individuals of diverse age groups and passions.

The total population of Denver is 749,103.

21. Las Vegas, NV

Lastly, but certainly not least, Las Vegas is a city of boundless amusement and untroubled existence. Attend a performance at the Cirque Du Soleil, take a leisurely walk along the renowned boulevard, or unwind with friends in one of the numerous gaming establishments and amusement venues. This sunlit desert city is unquestionably a significant destination for tourists and vacations, but that does not imply it is not an excellent place to establish permanent residence. Regrettably, the educational system in Las Vegas has long been burdened with a negative reputation, but many residential areas surrounding the metropolis are reasonably priced and relatively secluded, granting families a comfortable way of life alongside the exhilarating energy of one of the most well-liked cities in America.

Las Vegas is populated with 644,594 American citizens.


Moving to a liberal city comes with certain implications in terms of taxes and government spending, as highlighted in Tausanovitch and Warshaw’s research on “Representation in Municipal Government.” Their study reveals that liberal cities tend to collect higher taxes and spend more per capita compared to conservative cities. This finding indicates that living in a liberal city may require a higher financial contribution from residents. However, it also suggests that local political leaders in these areas are more inclined to respond promptly and substantially to the desires and concerns expressed by the community. This aspect can be particularly appealing to liberals seeking a city where they can not only lead a comfortable life but also actively engage in politics and have their voices heard by decision-makers.

The disparity in taxation and spending between liberal and conservative cities can be attributed to divergent policy priorities and ideologies. Liberal cities often prioritize social programs, infrastructure development, and public services, which require higher levels of funding. Consequently, residents in these areas may experience a greater tax burden but also benefit from more extensive government-funded initiatives and services. Additionally, the inclination of local political leaders in liberal cities to be responsive to the needs and demands of the populace creates an environment where active citizen participation can make a tangible impact. For politically engaged liberals, this aspect can be a significant draw as it provides an opportunity to actively shape the policies and direction of their city, fostering a sense of empowerment and civic engagement.

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