Every year a new crop of college graduates sets its sites on jobs across the country and, for many, life in an entirely new city. Around the same time, recent grads weigh the pros and cons of staying put versus moving to a new city for better pay, cheaper rent, and a host of other factors.
Generations of young professionals have sought--and continue to covet--jobs in places like New York and Washington, D.C., but as the job market remains uncertain and the cost of living continues to rise, many young people are now considering cities for reasons beyond their traditional cache.
To create this ranking of the Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials, Niche.com analyzed the data of cities and metro areas with one million residents or more from the U.S. Census, FBI, and surveys of nearly half a million college students and graduates from over the past four years. Factors examined include percentage of the population identified as millennials (ages 25 to 34), median income, education level, and racial diversity.
The ranking also favors lower median rents, unemployment rates, and crime rates. Within cities, a similar subset of factors was used to determine the best neighborhood for millennials. User-generated survey data contributed on factors like nightlife, cultural attractions, shopping, and professional sports was also taken into consideration.
The economic climate right now is difficult for recent college grads. With a ranking like this we’re combining the fun stuff with more practical things like safety and the unemployment rate. It’s a good balance of what you need to think about when you’re starting to get serious about life beyond college.
Niche.com has been tracking the behaviors, preferences, and decision-making of millennials since 2002, when it was founded as college review and recommendation site CollegeProwler.com. Today, the site provides data and anecdotal information to individuals looking to choose neighborhoods, cities, and schools, using many of the insights gained about millennials when they were considering and attending colleges to understand what they now want in a city in which to build a career, life, and family.
For example, diversity on campus emerged as a high priority among millennials on the college hunt; it now ranks as a significant factor as the same age group chooses where they will live.
The cities and neighborhoods that appear on this ranking may raise eyebrows among those who’ve lived in places like New York and Chicago and can readily identify the neighborhoods highlighted as hardly among the most affordable. It’s a combination of attributes that make these locales attractive.But each city had attributes that ranked lower than other locations—New York is famous for sky-high rents even in neighborhoods considered “affordable,” and D.C.’s crime rate is higher than places like Boston and San Diego.
You have to take it all into account. Every city has a strength and every city has a weakness, but these are fantastic places to get going, start jobs, start families.
Top Cities And Neighborhoods For Millennials: Charlotte, NC is #28 on the list.