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9. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro (TN)

Metro population: 1.4 million
Unemployment rate: 9.1%
Cost of living index: 90.5 (100 is average)

Among the 50 biggest metropolitan areas, Nashville ranks No. 2 for indie culture (Keep clicking to find out who’s No. 1!).

“You don’t think of Nashville as a cool, hip place, but its’ become one. It’s segwaying from country music to more mainstream music,” Sperling said. “Because of all these great music studios available, and the fact that there is a whole lot of culture dealing with all aspects of music, allows young musicians to do things on the cheap.”

Don Klumpp | Getty Images