Special Report

The 10 Best Cities for Millennials

A weak job market, along with the high cost of higher education, have made it difficult for the average college graduate in America. Approximately 53% of college graduates under the age of 25 are either jobless or primarily working jobs that don’t require a college degree, according to an April study by Drexel University.

Given the challenges millennials face, Moving.com identified the best metropolitan areas for 18 to 29 year olds, taking into account affordable housing, low unemployment and access to nearby attractions and education. According to the report, these cities are far better for young people struggling with the economy than others.

Read: The 10 Best Cities for Millennials

While the cities on this list do not have the lowest rents, home prices or unemployment, they have the best combination of all three. According to the data provided by Moving.com, housing costs in these areas are certainly affordable. And considering they are in generally large cities — where average costs can often be high — they are a bargain.

Unemployment rates in these regions are also among the lowest in the country. The U.S. unemployment rate in May was 8.2%. In each of these regions, the unemployment rate is 7.6% or less, and the majority have an unemployment rate below 7%. Oklahoma City’s jobless rate is just 4.5%.

These cities have the best practical options and also provide ample entertainment and cultural opportunities. Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move.com, explained, “The cities on this list encompass the best of both worlds — they have more affordable housing options and lower unemployment rates when compared to many big cities in America, as well as great nightlife, universities, and many things to do.”

24/7 Wall St.’s examination of education attainment data from the Census Bureau indicates that these cities have higher-than-average proportion of residents with bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Most of the cities on this list have at least one major college or university, and some have several.

Moving.com, a leading online resource for local, long-distance international moving needs, identified the best cities for millennials by identifying states with the highest inflow of new residents between 2008 and 2009, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Geographical Mobility report. Moving.com then identified the cities and metropolitan statistical areas in those regions that had low unemployment as well as relatively low rent and home prices. All values were from May of this year. Some of the regions identified by Moving.com are cities, and some are MSAs, which include major cities and their surrounding area. In addition to the data compiled by Moving.com, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed rates of commuters who walk or use public transportation, median income and educational attainment, all from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2010, the most recent available year. In those instances where Moving.com considered a city instead of an MSA, 24/7 Wall St. used MSA data from the Census Bureau as a proxy.