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Omaha, Neb.

What had to say: "Omaha's metro area population comes in at 829,702. Five Fortune 500 Companies -- Berkshire Hathaway (whose Chairman Warren Buffett is pictured above), Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, ConAgra Foods and Peter Kiewit Sons -- call Omaha home, and the city offers thousands of high-paying, high-skilled jobs in finance, defense and information technology. Starting salaries go further in the Midwest: Omaha's rock-bottom rents put a two-bedroom apartment within easy reach of most recent grads, and the cost-of-living falls way below that of the other cities on our list. Omaha also offers a surprising mix of culture and nightlife, especially in the trendy Old Market arts district and the dozens of jazz, rock and indie-rock clubs downtown." Pros: Low unemployment rate, low crime rate, short commutes Cons: Limited public transit system, low median income overallReuters