A quick search of “Best Cities for Millennials” yields thousands of results, and these articles tend to fall into two types of categories.
The first group highlights all the negative numbers released by the most recent census or unemployment report in an attempt to scare young people.
The second type generally delineates the cultural habits of millennials, showing that there is more to them than unemployment numbers suggest.
We’ve decided to combine the two types into one comprehensive list of the “19 Best Cities for Millennials”. On the one hand, we examine the unavoidable realities of being a young adult in the United States, including rising housing and rent prices, unemployment rates, the cost of living, and crime rates. On the other hand, we consider cultural appetites such as the entertainment and sports scenes, the average costs of beer, and where to find the best pizza in America. (Because, pizza.)
We combined all these variables into a valuation function to determine a Value According to Millennials Score, or VAM Score. The city that scored the lowest is number 19, and the city that scored the highest is number 1. If you want to read more about how we came up with these numbers, click here.
Otherwise, click on the slide show to see the 19 Best Cities for Millennials.
Milwaukee has the highest net percentage increase of employers on this list. In other words, there has been a recent increase of employers, which means there should be an increase in hiring in the near future. The city also boasts a large number of finance and service companies, and is great for beer lovers.
Sioux Falls has the lowest unemployment rate on this list and is a home to many financial services and healthcare groups. Furthermore, there has been a flourishing of white collar jobs, which has led to a cultural renaissance. There's even a free annual outdoor festival called 'Party in the Park'.
Denver sits in between the West Coast and large Midwest cities like Chicago, making it an ideal spot for large distributors. It also boasts a great park system and is home to numerous local and national breweries. There is also a great sports scene. Fun fact: the Broncos have sold out every home game since 1970.
Seattle has a low unemployment rate, and a relatively low cost of living. The city is great for parks, sports (especially considering the Seahawks' 2014 Super Bowl win), and music. However, rent is getting relatively expensive and the city is growing, so the cost of living might start to rise soon as well.
Salt Lake City has low unemployment, and also boasts a large net increase of employers (meaning more people will be hired in the years to come). There's many different industries -- ranging from the headquarters of the Huntsman Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, to high-tech firms like Adobe -- which will no doubt attract talented young people.
Relative to other giant cities in the U.S., Chicago has inexpensive rent. Furthermore, it's great for culture, restaurants, and sports, making it an attractive option for millennials. However, unfortunately, it also has the highest unemployment rate on the list.
Columbus has one of the lowest costs of living for both things that you need (like milk) and things that you want (like beer). It also has an extremely diverse economy including education, banking, aviation, and energy.
D.C. is the best place to go if you're looking for a career in politics. Furthermore, 51.2% of the population has a Bachelor's degree, making it one of the most educated and intellectually thriving cities. It's also a great spot for working women, and has great museums. Plus, there are beautiful Cherry Blossoms in the Spring.
San Francisco has the largest percentage of people with Bachelor's degrees and is known for its illustrious tech scene. It is a great place for sports fans, and is also great for professional women. However, all this new industry growth has led to a high cost of living, and also the most expensive median rent.
Dallas has one of the highest concentrations of corporate headquarters of publicly traded companies in the U.S., and houses companies such as ExxonMobil, American Airlines, and Neiman Marcus. Furthermore, Dallas has more shopping centres per capita than any other city in the U.S. Finally, Dallas is known its food scene, is great for working women, and has a lower standard of living than other major cities.