Numerous factors come into play when finding the best place to live, especially when jumpstarting a career or moving around as a young professional. Housing affordability, income growth, jobs, neighborhood amenities, transportation and weather all help determine your quality of life. But, most cities don’t offer everything simultaneously, so the key is finding balance.
This post will consider how some of the biggest cities in the US stack up in terms of employment, Generation Y population and cost of living. You can discover which city matches your millennial tastes best.
Jennifer Riner from HotPads shares with us her findings.
Recently ranked no. 4 best city for millennials by Niche.com, the City by the Bay offers a vibrant nightlife scene, top notch restaurants, culture and diversity. Plus, San Francisco holds a large percentage of millennials at 21.8 percent of the total population. However, the cost of housing is arguably exorbitant. The median rent in the San Francisco metro is currently $3,406 per month, up 4.8 percent since last year. Unemployment is slightly over the national rate of 5 percent at 5.3 percent.
New York City may be the largest city in the U.S. with 8.6 million residents, but only 17.4 percent of Big Apple residents are in the millennial generation. New York City’s unemployment rate is currently 6.6 percent, slightly higher than the national rate. The New York City metro rent costs a median $2,399 per month, an increase of 2.5 percent year-over-year. However, you can’t argue with the quality of life in the city that never sleeps (even during the cold winter) .
While Chicago is one of the top five largest cities in the U.S., just over 19 percent of the total population are between 25 and 34 years old, with 1.4 percent moving into the area over the past year. The unemployment rate is moderately higher at 8.8 percent. Nonetheless, Chicago’s median rent is $1,643 per month, making the Windy City a relatively affordable locale. Cost of rent in Chicago is down 0.2 percent annually.
Over the past year, 3.6 percent of residents ages 25 to 34 moved into Boston within the past year, pushing the total millennial population to 22 percent. Boston’s unemployment rate is 6.9 percent and the median rent in Boston is $2,310 per month, up 3.9 percent year-over-year.
The city that “keeps it weird” is known as a creative and cultural haven within the Lone Star State, ranking no. 10 in the best cities for young people. Austin millennials make up 21.4 percent of the population, with 3.3 percent new millennials moving in over the past year. Within the Austin metro, the median rent is $1,713 per month, up 2 percent since 2015. For independent young professionals, Austin is a top choice. Over 13 percent of Austin millennials live solo, according to a recent Zillow study. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate hovers around 5 percent, matching the national average.
Seattle is the seventh best city for young people, with 3 percent of incoming residents falling between ages 25 to 34. In total, millennials make up 21.5 percent of the city’s population. The unemployment rate is impressively low at 4.7 percent. However, the cost of living in Emerald City is rising – fast. Leasing a Seattle apartment costs a median $2,067 per month, illustrating a steep 9.7 percent year-over-year climb.
No matter where you decide to settle, aim to spend no more than 30 percent of your income on rent each month, even if you have to find a roommate or two. This way, you’ll have enough to balance student loan debt, accumulate savings and sustain a fulfilling lifestyle.