1. Athens, Ga.
> Unemployment: 6.5%
> Average rent price: $798
> Median home list price: $174,900
Athens is a college town, home to the University of Georgia, providing higher education opportunities for millennials, along with culture and sports. Nature centers, parks and zoos offer a number of outdoor opportunities. The city has a median list price that is $20,000 less than the national median and an unemployment rate that is 2.4 percentage points lower than the rest of the state — Georgia has the seventh-highest unemployment rate in the country.
2. Chapel Hill, N.C.
> Unemployment: 7.4%
> Average rent price: $1,260
> Median home list price: $219,900
Some 4% of Chapel Hill, N.C., residents use public transportation in their commute and 3.7% walk — both rates among the highest in the country and likely contributing to the attractiveness of the city. In addition, the city is home to UNC Chapel Hill, the oldest public university in the U.S., which along with Raleigh (NCSU) and Durham (Duke) form North Carolina’s “research triangle.” Consequently, nearly 20% of the metro region’s residents have a graduate degree, nearly double the national average. The city’s appeal does not end there. According to Moving.com, the city is full of attractions, including museums, arboretums and a variety of restaurants.
3. Corvallis, Ore.
> Unemployment: 5.7%
> Average rent price: $1,043
> Median home list price: $283,700
For millennials looking for a job out west, Corvallis, Ore., has an unemployment rate that is 2.5% lower than the national average. More than 10% of people are able to walk to work, the second highest rate of all U.S. metropolitan areas as of 2010, and the city had the highest proportion of commuters traveling by bike in 2009 at 9.3%. The mean travel time to work is just over 17 minutes for commuters, while the U.S. mean commuting time is more than 25 minutes. Oregon State University is located in Corvallis, providing millennials with higher education opportunities. As a result, 26% of residents hold a bachelor’s degree, while 22% have a graduate degree, the fifth highest in the nation’s metropolitan areas.
4. Dallas, Tex.
> Unemployment: 6.8%
> Average rent price: $1,168
> Median home list price: $204,900
As of 2010, 35% of households in the Dallas metro region had a child under 18, one of the largest proportions in the country.The city was rated by Areavibes as one of the 10 best cities to live in the U.S., citing Dallas’s more than 7,000 restaurants, and its sizeable art district and low rental costs. The area is also home to several major universities, including the University of Texas and the Art Institute of Dallas.
5. Ithaca, N.Y.
> Unemployment: 6.4%
> Average rent price: $1,034
> Median home list price: $276,000
Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, 16.5% of Ithaca’s commuting residents walk to work — the highest proportion in the U.S. as of 2010. Almost three-quarters of households in Ithaca earned more than $50,000 annually, the eighth-highest income of all 366 cities in the study. More than 93% of residents are covered by health insurance, which is the eighth-highest rate among all cities in the study. The city, which is home to both Ithaca College and Cornell University, has the highest percentage among MSAs of residents over 25 with a graduate or professional degree at 31.2%. With its ample education opportunities, outdoor activities and an environmentally conscious metro area, the city is attractive to millennials.