Millennials are flooding into these 25 US cities to find good jobs and earn more money

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The best cities for millennials have high wages, low unemployment, and a growing millennial population. Rich Fury/Getty Images

New York City may no longer reign supreme when it comes to the top cities millennials are settling in, but it’s still a boomtown for the generation.

Other big metro areas like San Francisco and Washington, DC, are also millennial hotspots, but so, too, are more up-and-coming cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky, both of which are more popular than DC and New York.

That’s according to a report by MagnifyMoney, which ranked the biggest boomtowns in America for millennials.

Using data from the US Census, MagnifyMoney looked at growth in the 50 largest metropolitan areas between 2011 and 2016 for four metrics: population, labour force, employment, and median wages. The first three metrics were analysed based on people aged 20-29, while the fourth was based on those born between 1981 and 1991. By limiting the study to this subset of millennials, who were approximately between the ages of 20 and 30 in 2011, this avoids the inclusion of working statistics of high schoolers.

Each category was scored relative to other metros, looking at positive and negative changes in the area. The biggest positive change scored a 100, with the exception of unemployment rate, which was reversed. To calculate the final score, the metric scores were added up and divided by four.

See below for the 25 biggest millennial boomtowns that have seen higher wages, a decrease in unemployment, and a growing millennial population.


25. Salt Lake City, Utah

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Increase in millennial population: 6.5%

Increase in median wages: 15.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -42.8%


24. Memphis, Tennessee

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Increase in millennial population: -0.7%

Increase in median wages: 30.2%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.6%


23. New York City, New York

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Increase in millennial population: 6.2%

Increase in median wages: 13.6%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -35.8%


22. Houston, Texas

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Increase in millennial population: 12.2%

Increase in median wages: 3.1%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -33.5%


21. Detroit, Michigan

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Increase in millennial population: -2.2%

Increase in median wages: 30.2%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -42.9%


20. Indianapolis, Indiana

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Increase in millennial population: 6.8%

Increase in median wages: -37.1%

Decrease in unemployment rate: 16%


19. Kansas City, Missouri

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Increase in millennial population: 5.3%

Increase in median wages: -41%

Decrease in unemployment rate: 17.3%


18. Washington, DC

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Increase in millennial population: 11.8%

Increase in median wages: -1.0%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -38%


17. Columbus, Ohio

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Columbus, Ohio in 2017. f11photo/Shutterstock

Increase in millennial population: 6.4%

Increase in median wages: 10.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -45.7%


16. Boston, Massachusetts

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Increase in millennial population: 6.6%

Increase in median wages: 16.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -41%


15. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Increase in millennial population: 5.1%

Increase in median wages: -44.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: 16%


14. Louisville, Kentucky

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Increase in millennial population: 4.9%

Increase in median wages: 25.9%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.5%


13. Atlanta, Georgia

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Increase in millennial population: 7.2%

Increase in median wages: 21.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -39.7%


12. Charlotte, North Carolina

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Increase in millennial population: 9.9%

Increase in median wages: 14.5%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -38.3%


11. New Orleans, Louisiana

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Increase in millennial population: 9.3%

Increase in median wages: 27.2%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -28.1%


10. Dallas, Texas

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Increase in millennial population: 9.4%

Increase in median wages: 14.8%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -42.3%


9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Increase in millennial population: 8.2%

Increase in median wages: 33.6%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.3%


8. Seattle, Washington

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Increase in millennial population: 14.4%

Increase in median wages: 15.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.6%


7. Portland, Oregon

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Increase in millennial population: 11.3%

Increase in median wages: 28.3%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.3%


6. Raleigh, North Carolina

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Increase in millennial population: 12.7%

Increase in median wages: 22.7%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -39%


5. San Jose, California

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Increase in millennial population: 13.3%

Increase in median wages: 25.9%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -37.2%


4. Nashville, Tennessee

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Increase in millennial population: 11.4%

Increase in median wages: 30.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -48.1%


3. Austin, Texas

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Increase in millennial population: 17.5%

Increase in median wages: 21.7%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -45.1%


2. Denver, Colorado

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Increase in millennial population: 18.7%

Increase in median wages: 13.1%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -46.3%


1. San Francisco, California

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Increase in millennial population: 16.2%

Increase in median wages: 32.4%

Decrease in unemployment rate: -40.3%