Miami also ranks as one of the most walkable major U.S. cities behind only New York City, San Francisco and Boston.
Residents in Atlanta and San Diego are about 35 years old, on average, according to U.S. Census data, but no other major area has a higher percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds than Southern California. Nearly one in every 10 residents received his or her bachelor's degree, about the same as Atlanta. Both cities are also most similar in average annual temperature, although the California coast is undoubtedly a more inviting destination during the winter.
Perhaps what most separates San Diego is its parkland, which makes up nearly one-quarter of the city's limits.
What the Midwest lacks in recent growth, it makes up for in character, and no other northern community parallels Atlanta as much as St. Louis. Area workers make nearly identical annual incomes in either location, and about 9 percent of St. Louis and Atlanta residents are between 18 and 24 years old. Both metro cities boast about the same number of restaurants per capita, too.
St. Louis isn't quite as cold throughout the year as its Midwestern counterparts, and the area is more walkable and bike friendly than Atlanta.
If everything is indeed bigger in Texas, then it doesn't get much bigger than Houston. As far as major U.S. metro cities go, Atlanta and Houston rank near the top in overall land size. Consider renting a car as Houston, on par with Atlanta, lacks in walking, biking and transit options. Houstonians are only two years younger on average than Atlanta residents, ranking both areas among the country's youngest.
Consistent with the rest of the Lone Star State, no major metro grew faster since 2010 than Houston, which experienced an 11.91 percent population increase that puts the area on pace to eventually outgrow Chicago as the nation's third most populated city.
The closest and likely the most culturally similar area to Atlanta, Charlotte has actually outpaced the ATL in one-year and five-year population growth. Unfavorable unemployment rates, walkability and bike scores make Charlotte and Atlanta similar in ways the cities may regret. But both cities provide a nearly-as-warm alternative to major U.S. metro's in Florida, California and Texas.
In contrast to Atlanta, Charlotte ranks atop the country's major metro cities in median age at 42.7 years old.