The 25 best states to live for 20-somethings, where jobs are booming and rent is affordable

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Transitioning to adulthood can be difficult. Rich Fury/Getty Images

It can be daunting for a young 20-something to transition into adulthood, but living in the right location can ease the process.

MoneyRates.com recently ranked the best states for young millennials to live in, including Washington, DC. It grouped eight sets of data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics and Census Bureau into three major categories – job market, affordability and access, and lifestyle, awarding each state an average ranking in each category.

Turns out, Midwestern states like North Dakota and Iowa have the most factors that appeal to millennials. Nebraska, for example, has a higher proportion of young adults than places like New York and California, according to the report.

Below, see the ranking of best places to live for young 20-somethings. We included the unemployment rate for those ages 20 to 24, the median rent, and the number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita.


25. Florida — Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville, have become hubs for millennials.

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Unemployment rate: 6.8%

Median rent: $US1,128

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:1,795

Source: 10 News, Curbed, Jacksonville.com


24. Texas — Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston appeal to young adults looking to work for small businesses.

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Unemployment rate: 6.7%

Median rent: $US987

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:2,681

Source: Chron


23. Indiana — Indianapolis thrives on a growing tech scene and investments in public infrastructure.

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Unemployment rate: 7%

Median rent: $US793

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:971

Source: Curbed


22. Virginia — Virginia Beach and Richmond have both seen an uptick in millennial migration.

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Unemployment rate: 5.4%

Median rent: $US1,179

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:165

Source: Time


21. North Carolina — Raleigh and Charlotte have plentiful job opportunities and high pay.

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Unemployment rate: 5.6%

Median rent: $US861

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:680

Source: The News & Observer


20. Alaska — Alaska has nine military bases, attracting young-adult soldiers.

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Unemployment rate: 11.8

Median rent: 1,201

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:157

Source: Mic


19. Rhode Island — Rhode Island has jobs, culture, and numerous James Beard restaurants.

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Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Median rent: 941

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:239

Source: Inc


18. Oregon — Portland has many neighbourhoods, a relatively affordable cost of living, and a booming economy.

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Unemployment rate: 6.4%

Median rent: $US1,079

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:933

Source: Business Insider


17. Colorado — Millennials have been flocking to Denver for its high-paying jobs, reasonable commutes, weather, and activities.

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Unemployment rate: 4.1%

Median rent: $US1,240

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:762

Source: Denver Post, SmartAsset


16. Massachusetts — Tech and life sciences fuel much of the economy.

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Unemployment rate: 3.7%

Median rent: $US1,208

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:754

Source: Curbed


15. Vermont — Vermont recently offered Americans up to $US10,000 to move to the state and work remotely.

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Unemployment rate: 4.6%

Median rent: 950

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:104

Source: CNN


14. Utah — Millennials are migrating to Salt Lake City to buy homes.

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Unemployment rate: 4.9%

Median rent: $US986

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:168

Source: CNBC


13. Oklahoma — Oklahoma City is a boomtown for millennials, partly because of a high increase in wages.

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Unemployment rate: 6%

Median rent: $US780

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:402

Source: Business Insider


12. Nevada — Las Vegas has cultural attractions, low taxes, and natural beauty.

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Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Median rent: $US1,051

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:657

Source: SmartAsset


11. Missouri — St. Louis boasts affordable homes for millennials.

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Unemployment rate: 6.2%

Median rent: $US800

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:634

Source: Riverfront Times


T10. Minnesota — Minnesota has a lot to offer active young adults, from biking trails to lakes.

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Unemployment rate: 4.7%

Median rent: $US939

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:946

Source: SmartAsset


T10. Idaho — Idaho Falls is attracting millennials with its restaurant scene and recreational activities.

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Unemployment rate: 3.5%

Median rent: $US822

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:335

Source: Local News 8


8. South Dakota — Sioux Falls is a top city for young professionals.

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Unemployment rate: 7.2

Median rent: $US722

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:325

Source: Business Insider


T7. Wisconsin — Madison is the top city in the US where women are most successful.

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Unemployment rate: 4.8%

Median rent: $US819

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:$US2,785

Source: SmartAsset


T7. Kansas — Wichita has been undergoing a downtown renovation over the past decade.

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Unemployment rate: 5.9%

Median rent: $US815

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:335

Source: Smart Growth America, The Wichita Eagle


5. Wyoming — Wyoming’s economy thrives on the conservation and extraction industries.

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Unemployment rate: 6.7%

Median rent: $US832

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:163

Source: SmartAsset


4. Montana — Montana offers plenty of opportunities for young entrepreneurs as well as proximity to nature.

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Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Median rent: $US759

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:547

Source: ABC Fox Montana


3. Iowa — Iowa has one of the largest proportions of young adults in its population.

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Unemployment rate: 5%

Median rent: $US760

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:944

Source: Money Rates


2. Nebraska — Nebraska has a higher proportion of young adults than places like New York and California.

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Unemployment rate: 4.6%

Median rent: $US801

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:551

Source: Money Rates


1. North Dakota — North Dakota is a magnet for young adults, thanks to its business and pleasure offerings.

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Unemployment rate: 3.6%

Median rent: $US785

Number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita:419