Move to your optimal city

Cities with likeminded individuals make us feel good.

May 18, 20192 min read

If you still live in the same city you grew up in, you should probably move. There isn't anything inherently wrong about your hometown, I'm sure the local Applebees there is fantastic, but what are the chances that your hometown is the global optimum place for you live? In fact, how does one even go about figuring out what their optimal city is?

It's actually pretty simple. Your optimal city is the city with the greatest density of people who share your worldview. It's where you can find those who care about the same things you care about.

Let's say you still haven't put down the JVC camcorder you got for Christmas in 2008, and have an aptitude for storytelling. You should probably move to Los Angeles; Christopher Nolan awaits you.

If computers make more sense to you than people, and you've found yourself babbling on to your barber about how AI is going to solve all of humanity's problems, then you should probably move to San Francisco. (Sure, the rent is outrageous. But you write software, dammit! Get a job at Stripe or something.)

Put simply, your optimal city is where you have the best chances of finding your tribe. Now, let's figure out the odds of being born in your optimal city with a few basic assumptions:

  • You have exactly one optimal city.
  • Your optimal city is one of the top 300 largest cities.
  • The city you grew up in has zero influence over your optimal city.

The last assumption is by far the most generous. Your parents and the city they decided to raise you in have a lot of influence over how you turned out, and as a result, a lot of influence over your optimal city. So for simplicity's sake, let's assume your optimal city was randomly assigned to you at birth.

You had a 13% chance of being born in one of the world's 300 largest cities, and a 1 in 300 chance of that city being your single most optimal one. Combining those probabilities gives you 0.04%.

The odds of you being born into your optimal city are 1 in 2,308.

Memento mori. Remember that you will die. Life is far too short to live anywhere other than your optimal city. So head there, and flourish.