The 10 Best Cities for Millennials
6. Oklahoma City, Okla.
> Unemployment: 4.5%
> Average rent price: $707
> Median home list price: $154,900
As of May, Oklahoma City had an unemployment rate of just 4.5%, well below the national jobless rate of 8.2%. The city’s high employment and cheap housing present opportunities for millennials. The city is also a good location for nightlife, according to the report. It has several minor league sports teams, as well as the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. On top of its several attractive qualities, the city also hosts several universities.
7. Pittsburgh, Pa.
> Unemployment: 6.6%
> Average rent price: $1,030
> Median home list price: $143,250
Pittsburgh has one of the largest public transportation systems in the U.S., serving over 200,000 riders per day as of 2011. Millennial residents can enjoy professional sports teams — Pittsburgh is the hometown of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins — as well as pursue higher education from one of dozens of schools in the area, including U. Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne and others. Pittsburgh also has been regarded as one of the best arts and culture destinations in the U.S. for a decade. According to Moving.com, millennials might enjoy a night out at South Side or Station Square districts for the best bars and clubs.
8. Phoenix, Ariz.
> Unemployment: 7.2%
> Average rent price: $834
> Median home list price: $185,500
Phoenix real estate suffered from the recession. As of the first quarter of 2012, 55.5% of homeowners had underwater mortgages. Millennial sports fans will enjoy the city because of its active MLB, NHL, and NBA teams. With one of the highest proportions of households with children under 18, Phoenix has 29 school districts and is a good place for a millennial who plans on starting or moving a family.
9. Tacoma, Wash.
> Unemployment: 7.6%
> Average rent price: $963
> Median home list price: $239,000
Located just 30 miles from Seattle, Tacoma provides millennials with as much as 35% lower rent prices and homes that are about $100,000 less than Seattle. The metropolitan area of Tacoma includes Seattle and Bellevue, where the 10th-highest proportion of workers commute by public transportation. The city boasts its sustainability efforts, arts, and other attractions. According to TacomaCulture.org, the city’s cultural website, Tacoma is home to classical music groups, theatre and an opera company.
10. Tallahassee, Fla.
> Unemployment: 7.2%
> Average rent price: $764
> Median home list price: $159,000
Almost 10% of homes in Tallahassee were built in 2005 or later, according to 2010 Census data, which is among the highest proportions among U.S. metropolitan areas. Higher education is highly accessible in the city for millennials seeking a degree. The area is home to universities such as Florida State, Flagler College, and Florida A&M. Near the Gulf, Tallahassee has a great nightlife with popular bars and venues for music lovers.
–Lisa A. Nelson and Michael B. Sauter