Young adults looking to create an affordable life for themselves don’t have an easy task ahead of them. There are so many things to take into consideration, and with so many different opinions it’s hard to make the “perfect” decision.
What’s important to one person might not be such an issue for the next, which is why this list of the best cities for millennials is mainly based on three basic and fairly common principles. It takes into the account the biggest single expense a millennial will have, namely rent, but it also looks at safety and entertainment. So, in no specific order, here are the Best Cities For Millennials.
No. 10 – Seattle
It’s the city best known for supporting the rock music movement and yes, it’s a place where millennials can be sleepless and romantic all at the same time. Starting with the main issue at hand, the rent might not look as attractive as the other cities on the list, but compared to the average income it makes more sense. Median rent stands at about $1100, putting it at a ratio of 0.4:1 against the median individual income of $35,000.00.
In terms of crime and safety Seattle gets a C- and over the past year 2.8% of newcomers have been millennial residents. Getting around the city is relatively easy, along with access to fun nightlife activities such as restaurants and bars. Seattle doesn’t have the biggest diversity of ethnic groups and employment growth is on the slow side, but overall it’s a very affordable place to live. Take into account there are lots to do for young people and starting salaries are considered positive, millennials should be happy with their move. At the moment about 21.7% of the residents are millennial.
Whether it’s a good place for you depends on how you approach a challenge. The first couple of months might be rough, but if you can stick it out you’ll probably be happy you did.
No. 9 – Denver
Denver is another city with a good overall balance for those who want to make a fresh start. The rent averages at a reasonable $890 and the average income hovers around $30,000.00 for individuals. This calculates to a ratio of 0.4:1, which is pretty affordable under the circumstances. Speer is a popular neighborhood among those who prefer living closer to the city while Virginia Vale gets credibility for safety. But for overall crime and safety it shares a C- with Seattle.
Over the past few years there have been a steady growth in employment at 2.4% and over the last year the community has grown with 4.2% of millennials. It might not be the most diverse city in terms of the community, but most of the residents seem to be happy. Those who live in the Speer neighborhood love living closer to the city, with easy access to restaurants and bars, while those in Virginia Vale appreciate the safe environment. It’s easy to get from point A to point B and the recreational events around the city are quite popular, especially the movie theaters.
No, Denver is not the cheapest place in the world, but if you think of affordability without giving up much quality, it’s a city worth considering. The people feel safe and there’s more than enough to do.
No. 8 – Richmond
This is regarded as a very pleasant river city where unemployment doesn’t pose a very big problem. When you live in the city there is plenty of entertainment withing walking distance, but it’s also a bike haven. When looking at the statistics, the average rent is around $880 and the average salary comes to about $21,000. This ratio might be a little discouraging at 0.5:1, but overall affordability tends to make up for it. Richmond has a relatively diverse community and for the most part the residents are friendly, which makes it a very attractive city. Monuments and landmarks are the main attractions, so if you love culture then this is the right place for you.
The crime and safety grade currently resides at D+, but it hasn’t deterred the 2.7% of millennials who have joined the community through the past year. In terms of entertainment and nightlife, restaurants are easier to find than bars and coffee shops, which can either be a good or a bad thing depending on your taste. As for the ease of commuting, Richmond can compete with the best of them. The Capital District is regarded as one of the friendliest areas where diversity is embraced and Northern Barton Heights is praised for the feeling of safety.
No. 7 – Dallas
Introducing the diverse city of Dallas, the modern metropolis of Texas, where the average rent will set you back about $850 and you can expect to make an average of $24,800.00. The crime and safety grade is D+, although most residents regard the city as pretty safe. It’s also considered a city where the residents don’t really mind new faces. Over the last year 1.8% of the growing community have been millennials and the employment rate his shown a nice growth of 5.2%. In other words, Dallas still has a lot of potential when a realistic living needs to be made.
According to polls commuting isn’t always the most pleasant part of Dallas, but it’s definitely among the cities where it’s not really a problem, especially if you live in the Oaktree area. You’ll be close to most of the major malls and it’s fairly peaceful. Parks and natural attractions, along with movie theaters are the most rewarding ways to spend your free time if a majority opinion counts for anything.
If you are thinking about Dallas then you can get ready for affordable fun. It really is the perfect place for millennials where potential is concerned.
No. 6 – Milwaukee
This is where you’ll be able to sustain a low-maintenance lifestyle while enjoying the luxury that is typically found in more expensive cities. The median rent is about $770 and the average salary for an individual comes to just over $21,000.00. However, the growth rate in terms of millennial residents has only been 1% over the last year, but it is still regarded as a city that should be on the list. Central Milwaukee is the safest region and the overall crime and safety grade is D.
It’s unfortunate that the growth in employment has seen a slight decline, but the overall consensus when it comes to living there is very positive. The people are friendly and it’s definitely a busy place, two elements millennials typically enjoy given their generation. When it comes to diversity few places can compete with Milwaukee. It’s also very convenient where commuting is involved and the bars are A grade according to surveys.
This city isn’t the most glamorous, but it doesn’t cost much to live a relatively upscale lifestyle. Chances are you’ll easily afford to stay here.
No. 5 – Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is quickly becoming a large center for technological evolution, but that’s not the only reason it’s on this list. It has a low unemployment rate and the job market continues to grow. In fact, opportunities for job seekers have increased by 3.6% over the last few years. However, the best part has to be the rent-to-income ratio, which stands at 0.4:1. Your average monthly expenses for rent should cost about $760 and salary potential averages at $21,400.00 annually. As for crime and safety, it has a grade of D+, which means it can get better. Luckily there has been improvement in the latter area.
It’s not the most diverse city, but commuting is a breeze while restaurants, bars and coffee shops are popular and readily available. Central North Side, North Oakland and Bloomfield are just some of the neighborhoods where many happy residents reside. For some things can get a little noisy, although most of the people are happy. Thanks to steady pace with which the city is evolving any millennial will find it to be a good a place as any to lay down some roots. It has potential and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
No. 4 – Lincoln
There shouldn’t be any doubt why Lincoln is on this list, because the rent-to-income ratio alone makes the city appealing. Currently standing at 0.3:1, the average rent is about $714 compared to an average individual salary of $25,500.00. For many millennials it’s a golden opportunity. The recreational facilities are up to standards, but the most prominent aspect apart from the low rent has to be the safety people feel, regardless of the neighborhood they live in.
Growth can be seen in the employment stats, which shows a promising 2.9% and unemployment rate is relatively low at 4.3%. It might not be the city with the best bars and restaurants, but it the crime and safety grade is a solid C. In other words, people feel safe and happiness is a commonly shared feeling among residents. Unfortunately no city is perfect, and with Lincoln comes a very small diversity regarding community. Some residents might even add that commuting isn’t always as easy as they want it to be.
No. 3 – Buffalo
It seems that Buffalo has become a huge attraction for solar panels and breweries. But even if you look past these advantages you’ll find lots of reasons to make this city your new home. Take for example the average rent, which is $682, then you’ll see a whole bunch of good things just waiting for you. The average salary comes to about $19,200.00. At first glance it doesn’t sound like a lot, but in this city it can bring you further than you think.
Buffalo shares a steady rate of increased employment with Lincoln, standing at 2.9%, but unemployment still presents somewhat of a problem at 8%. Nevertheless, commuting is quick and easy while access to bars and restaurants are fairly convenient. Even though the crime and safety grade only manages to reach a D, most of the residents are content with their decision to live in Buffalo, thanks to the diversity and the overall pleasant atmosphere.
No. 2 – Davenport, Iowa
Just like Lincoln, Davenport has a very strong crime and safety grade of C, in addition to a steady growth for employment at 3.2% last year. Now add the affordable rent at $678 and the average income of $25,700.00 and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. It’s going to be easy to initiate the move there and you’ll probably start living the good life before you know it.
If you are focused on community issues and if you are wondering whether you’ll fit in, Davenport is seen as a place where millennials are accepted quickly despite the low diversity rate. When safety and low rent are such important factors, one cannot help to fall in love with this city instantaneously. There is no shortage of nightlife activities thanks to easily accessible bars and restaurants, and commuting isn’t much of a problem either. Just in case Davenport hasn’t showed up on your radar yet, it’s probably a good time to check it out.
No. 1 – Jersey City
The list is going to end with a tiny shocker, namely Jersey City. The name alone will probably induce thoughts of an expensive lifestyle, but first you have to take in all the factors. Yes, the rent is high at $1,200.00, but the average salary is also very high at $32,000.00. This brings the rent-to-income ratio to about 0.4:1, which is good for this kind of place.
It’s truly one of the more diverse cities you’ll come across where the crime and safety grade is very stable at C-, and the employment growth standing at a very positive 4.5%. Entertainment during anytime of the day is never lacking and the city just makes you feel great with the warm community atmosphere. At the moment about 23% of the residents are millennials, so you know you’ll be in good company once you get there.
In Jersey City there are enough opportunities to live a comfortable lifestyle and you won’t have to worry about feeling unsafe. One of the more prominent elements that make it stand out is the easy access to public transportation and the nearness of Manhattan.
In the end the numbers speak for themselves. Chances are you won’t regret making the move.
Best Cities for Millennials Honorable Mentions:
Kansas City, Missouri
Rent is affordable, lots of great trade schools, 5th most cultured city in the United States, access to Kansas City Art Institute
A few hours north of Kansas City, US News and World Reports consistently ranks Des Moines as one of it’s top 10 best values. Great value for housing, short commutes, large tech industry.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Low unemployment now.