Best Cities for Millennials Ranked 2020

Introduction

After graduating, many young adults spend some time living at home in order to find their first full time job or save up some money. While this is definitely a beneficial move for a limited amount of time, the inevitable will eventually come knocking…mom and dad saying it’s time to move out.

When deciding where to go after moving out of their childhood homes, it’s important for recent grads not to make hasty decisions. They should weigh pros and cons of potential locations and should be able to review important factors such as employment benefits, expenses, and safety. Starting your career living in a city that you regret moving to can truly impact your future path, in more ways then one.

If you are a young adult looking for a place to move, I hope this report helps you get started. 

I decided to rank the top 150 cities for Millennials in the United States. I came up with unique ranking metrics in order to determine, which of the 500 cities reviewed were truly the best.

Schools were ranked based on six criteria:

  1. Unemployment Rate
  2. Percent of Residents within the Age of 25-34
  3. Cost of Living
  4. Future Job Growth
  5. Transportation Costs
  6. Crime and Safety

Top 150 Cities for Millennials

RankCityStateUnemployment RateResidents 25-34Cost of LivingFuture Job GrowthTransportation CostsCrime & SafetyTotal
1BozemanMontana2.882.371.842.871.111.0812.15
2Sioux FallsSouth Dakota3.082.222.062.361.241.0011.97
3FargoNorth Dakota3.122.281.992.441.121.0211.96
4ProvoUtah3.082.231.992.640.971.0111.91
5HobokenNew Jersey2.923.471.242.330.881.0611.90
6ColumbiaMissouri2.922.192.052.441.130.8911.63
7Cedar ParkTexas2.722.031.922.471.171.2611.57
8Round RockTexas2.762.131.972.461.171.0411.53
9Fort CollinsColorado3.042.191.812.321.071.0411.47
10AnkenyIowa2.762.352.032.041.111.1511.43
11WestfieldIndiana2.722.051.992.431.081.1511.43
12IrvingTexas2.522.402.022.431.021.0211.42
13FishersIndiana2.642.041.992.411.081.2611.41
14AustinTexas2.762.491.862.480.980.8011.38
15Holly SpringsNorth Carolina2.602.031.912.531.041.2111.31
16DenverColorado2.922.501.782.181.080.8211.28
17Ann ArborMichigan2.762.251.822.360.981.1211.28
18CharlestonSouth Carolina2.602.361.882.341.061.0311.26
19RochesterMinnesota2.922.221.992.060.901.1411.23
20WylieTexas2.681.961.962.470.991.1611.21
21DentonTexas2.522.212.022.430.941.0811.20
22MadisonWisconsin2.882.351.922.200.850.9611.16
23AuroraColorado2.922.161.902.141.070.9511.14
24Salt Lake CityUtah3.002.461.942.231.010.5011.14
25RaleighNorth Carolina2.362.281.982.441.040.9311.04
26DallasTexas2.562.302.042.411.020.6911.01
27Grand RapidsMichigan2.722.282.102.370.840.7011.01
28RichardsonTexas2.522.021.892.431.021.1110.99
29PlanoTexas2.562.001.832.440.991.1510.97
30LakewoodColorado2.922.131.802.171.070.8610.95
31Fort WayneIndiana2.522.032.152.320.940.9710.93
32AllenTexas2.601.871.852.450.991.1510.92
33Overland ParkKansas2.562.111.912.161.031.1610.92
34Des MoinesIowa2.802.192.141.911.110.7610.91
35OmahaNebraska2.802.162.101.991.070.8010.91
36WillmarMinnesota2.522.002.092.250.991.0610.90
37North CharlestonSouth Carolina2.602.352.052.251.060.5910.89
38CambridgeMassachusetts3.002.871.222.150.680.9710.88
39BolivarIndiana2.202.222.152.620.830.8610.87
40KilleenTexas2.282.422.172.071.180.7510.87
41CarmelIndiana2.521.771.872.391.081.2310.86
42ColumbusOhio2.482.382.132.141.060.6510.84
43GarlandTexas2.361.982.042.401.021.0010.80
44Colorado SpringsColorado2.682.111.962.031.130.8810.79
45NashvilleTennessee2.522.342.002.301.140.4810.78
46KaysvilleUtah2.401.921.912.341.051.1610.76
47SpringfieldMissouri2.642.122.132.461.110.3010.75
48BoulderColorado3.082.151.382.031.041.0810.75
49Castle RockColorado2.601.951.682.221.071.2210.75
50LincolnNebraska2.962.122.061.971.020.6210.74
51WoodburyMinnesota2.761.991.812.160.921.1010.73
52Grand PrairieTexas2.362.092.022.271.020.9710.73
53DublinOhio2.681.741.812.241.061.2010.73
54Fort WorthTexas2.562.172.042.011.190.7510.72
55ArlingtonTexas2.562.102.022.031.190.8010.72
56MinneapolisMinnesota2.762.511.932.080.940.5110.72
57ParkerColorado2.601.921.702.221.071.2110.71
58GilbertArizona2.282.071.892.390.971.1110.71
59AlexandriaVirginia2.482.671.552.030.821.1510.69
60SavageMinnesota2.721.951.862.150.921.0910.68
61AmarilloTexas2.762.122.131.901.080.6910.67
62St. PaulMinnesota2.762.251.992.040.910.7210.67
63Kansas CityMissouri2.442.192.102.451.050.4210.66
64CharlotteNorth Carolina2.162.252.022.421.050.7510.66
65Lexington-FayetteKentucky2.762.162.061.671.070.9010.62
66San AntonioTexas2.562.122.052.191.030.6710.62
67BostonMassachusetts3.002.531.442.070.880.7010.62
68LubbockTexas2.762.092.132.001.030.5610.57
69LansingMichigan2.602.222.172.021.000.5610.57
70JacksonMissouri2.042.062.062.151.051.1410.50
71DurhamNorth Carolina2.282.362.022.200.990.6410.49
72Oklahoma CityOklahoma2.322.192.102.321.030.5210.48
73RichmondVirginia2.322.362.022.040.980.7210.44
74St. LouisMissouri2.442.342.122.260.990.2910.44
75Cape CoralFlorida2.121.801.982.510.881.1510.44
76ClarksvilleTennessee2.002.372.071.971.210.8210.43
77AbileneTexas2.522.162.101.681.100.8810.43
78ArlingtonVirginia2.482.891.362.050.820.8310.43
79LittletonColorado2.441.941.752.181.071.0210.39
80LeesburgVirginia2.722.101.571.990.811.2110.39
81OrlandoFlorida2.202.412.032.291.050.3810.35
82LaredoTexas2.282.022.122.021.070.8310.34
83PrincetonNew Jersey2.801.881.142.510.901.0610.30
84RenoNevada2.282.161.872.260.850.8710.29
85Saratoga SpringsNew York2.442.061.782.080.751.1710.28
86WilmingtonNorth Carolina2.162.121.992.351.000.6610.27
87El PasoTexas2.122.032.131.921.090.9810.26
88Jersey CityNew Jersey2.162.561.732.100.880.8210.26
89Virginia BeachVirginia2.122.171.921.781.111.1010.21
90ColumbiaMaryland2.282.111.792.120.970.9210.19
91Washington, D.C.District of Columbia2.482.541.532.310.840.4810.18
92LeawoodKansas2.641.441.672.171.031.2210.17
93ColumbiaSouth Carolina2.442.242.071.980.910.5210.16
94CincinnatiOhio2.442.242.111.970.990.4110.16
95LouisvilleKentucky2.562.062.101.611.040.7710.14
96SavannahGeorgia2.082.222.112.171.000.5510.13
97IrvineCalifornia2.642.151.142.310.681.1810.11
98GreensboroNorth Carolina2.042.112.082.061.050.7510.10
99VancouverWashington2.242.121.892.070.830.9410.09
100TampaFlorida2.082.172.052.040.930.8110.08
101WichitaKansas2.282.082.121.881.080.6110.05
102BrentwoodTennessee2.281.551.482.221.271.2310.04
103HendersonNevada1.921.941.892.220.901.1610.03
104AthensGeorgia1.922.212.061.940.950.9210.01
105ProvidenceRhode Island2.282.211.951.880.940.739.98
106GainesvilleFlorida2.202.192.051.860.960.719.98
107KirklandWashington2.442.291.402.150.681.029.98
108ChesapeakeVirginia2.242.001.921.751.110.959.98
109Santa RosaCalifornia2.482.071.502.170.731.019.95
110PortlandOregon2.242.371.682.300.600.769.95
111TulsaOklahoma2.042.102.122.191.000.489.93
112Rancho CucamongaCalifornia2.042.081.602.390.701.139.93
113Santa ClaraCalifornia2.522.320.792.470.711.129.93
114NorfolkVirginia2.122.292.021.661.110.739.92
115StamfordConnecticut2.482.271.522.020.481.149.91
116JacksonvilleFlorida2.082.122.062.120.790.739.90
117Pembroke PinesFlorida2.241.971.862.020.741.089.90
118Port St. LucieFlorida1.801.872.002.160.911.159.90
119Baton RougeLouisiana2.082.132.101.961.160.459.88
120ParadiseNevada1.922.202.022.210.900.629.87
121FremontCalifornia2.482.070.952.330.851.169.85
122San DiegoCalifornia2.242.271.472.150.711.009.84
123YonkersNew York2.082.051.632.170.881.019.82
124MetairieLouisiana1.962.111.971.841.050.879.80
125San JoseCalifornia2.522.111.022.400.711.049.79
126New YorkNew York2.162.241.362.270.840.929.79
127SouthlakeTexas2.521.451.372.071.191.189.79
128HonoluluHawaii2.882.121.202.230.331.019.77
129AtlantaGeorgia2.042.391.992.050.910.389.75
130MidlandTexas2.522.142.021.160.901.009.74
131Costa MesaCalifornia2.162.421.212.190.681.069.73
132ChattanoogaTennessee2.042.082.102.051.020.429.72
133Las VegasNevada1.922.031.962.180.900.719.70
134HoustonTexas2.002.271.981.881.100.479.70
135PhiladelphiaPennsylvania2.122.232.001.950.850.549.69
136PhoenixArizona2.322.132.012.270.970.009.69
137AkronOhio2.162.032.171.890.840.609.69
138PasadenaCalifornia2.122.311.272.020.951.029.68
139New OrleansLouisiana1.962.272.031.770.990.669.67
140West Palm BeachFlorida2.042.151.962.120.800.619.67
141BrookfieldWisconsin2.241.581.861.920.991.069.67
142PittsburghPennsylvania1.922.332.101.820.810.689.65
143MesaArizona2.322.051.982.300.970.009.62
144SeattleWashington2.242.501.392.130.680.689.62
145The WoodlandsTexas2.001.731.861.841.101.079.60
146SacramentoCalifornia2.002.211.832.030.810.699.57
147OaklandCalifornia2.522.271.372.140.850.429.56
148St. PetersburgFlorida2.081.992.042.110.880.459.55
149AnaheimCalifornia2.162.121.482.090.681.019.55
150TempeArizona1.962.361.932.320.970.009.54

Methodology

This report was based off the evaluation of over 500 cities in the United States. I used a total of 6 metrics to determine the overall score given to each city. The metrics included Unemployment Rate, Percentage of Residents Within the Ages of 25-34, Cost of Living, Future Job Growth, Transportation Costs, and Crime & Safety. Each metric was assigned a score and evaluated on an individual basis. All metric scores were then summed together for each respective city. The final scores determined the overall rankings shown in this study.

1. Unemployment Rate (4 Points Max)

The first category that was used to rank the cities was unemployment rate. This information was collected from the United States Department of Labor. This allowed me to gather an idea of how strong the economy was within the city itself relative to the country as a whole. I determined the category score based off of the difference between these two numbers. The final score was determined by multiplying each cities assigned score by its metric weight of 0.2.

2. Percentage of Residents Within the Age of 25-34 (4 Points Max)

The next category reviewed was the percentage of residents in the city between the ages of 25-34. This percentage was collected through the United States Census Bureau. In order to determine the score each city would receive for this category I subtracted the national average of the percentage of residents between the ages of 25 and 34 from the city’s percentage of residents this age. The results of this calculation were then multiplied by a predetermined number in order to get a number between 1-20. The final score was determined by multiplying each school’s assigned score by its metric weight of 0.2.

3. Cost of Living (4 Points Max)

The next category evaluated was Cost of Living. I reviewed multiple subcategories that relate to cost of living in order to come up with a number that would emphasize whether a certain city would be doing better or worse than the average of the United States. This score was then multiplied by a weight that would determine each cities placement on a 1-20 point scale. The final score was determined by multiplying each school’s assigned score by its metric weight of 0.2.

4. Future Job Growth (4 Points Max)

Future Job Growth was determined by reviewing data from the United States Department of Labor. These numbers were similar for many of the cities, since it is a prediction, and focuses on country wide growth. The difference between each cities percentage and the anticipated job growth for the country was used to determine the appropriate score for each city. The final score was determined by multiplying each school’s assigned score by its metric weight of 0.2.

​5. Transportation Costs (2 Points Max)

I lowered the weight for this category due to the chance that some people will not be using public transportation services. The numbers used for this category, which were pulled from H&T Index, looked at transportation costs based on an index rather than a fixed cost. The average for the United State was then subtracted by each cities number and then multiplied by a predetermined value to get a score within 1-20. The final score was determined by multiplying each school’s assigned score by a metric weight of 0.1.

​6. Crime and Safety (2 Points Max)

The final category reviewed was the crime & safety for each city. The information pulled for this category came from the FBI Crime in the United States data. I determined the difference between the crime and safety of each city and the country, and then multiplied that number by a predetermined number to get the score between 1-20. This score was then multiplied by the metric weight of 0.1 to calculate the final score. 

Project CRediT sources data from Wealthy Genius including net worth, earnings, and various wealth statistics.

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