The 10 best big cities for educated millennials

Washington dcAlex Wong/GettyWashington, DC ranked as the most attractive major metropolitan area for recent grads.

The young and educated are interested in more than just a hefty paycheck. 

In a new report on the top destinations for young college graduates, the American Institute for Economic Research finds young people are drawn to city amenities in addition to jobs.

The rankings examined eight economic and quality-of-life factors that young people look for in a new city, the top three factors being: high density of people with a college degree, a low unemployment rate, and the ability to get around the city without a car.

The other factors included: average salary, cost of rent, competition for jobs, bars and restaurants per 1,000 residents, and racial and ethnic diversity.

Washington, DC topped the list of most desirable large cities for educated young people. The report defined young educated people as those 22 to 35 years old with at least a bachelor’s degree, and it defined “large” cities as those having metro areas with at least 1 million people.

Here are the top 10 major cities for young educated people:

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Metro area population: 1.2 million 
Surrounded by strong schools such as Duke, located in Durham, Wake Forest in Winston Salem, and UNC Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, it’s no surprise that Raleigh would appeal to young, educated people.

Back in 2011, BloombergBusiness ranked Raleigh the best place to live in America due to its ample green space and “thriving social scene.”

9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Metro area p
opulation: 3.5 million
 The writer Matthew Yglesias has summed up why Minneapolis would be the perfect place for young people; incomes are relatively high there and the cost of living is low. “You should move to Minneapolis,” he wrote in Slate back in 2012. 

8. Austin, Texas

Austin texas sixth streetWikimedia CommonsDusk on Sixth Street & Trinity Street, Austin, Texas.

Metro area p
opulation: 1.9 million Austin has an obvious allure for young professionals with its vibrant music and tech scene that culminates every March in South by Southwest. The American Institute for Economic Research Report noted that many startups are drawn to Austin’s “vibrant” downtown area.

7. Denver, Colorado

Metro area p
opulation: 2.7 million
 Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) now make up the largest population group in metro Denver, a region that experienced “robust job growth” in 2014,according to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

6. Seattle, Washington

Metro area p
opulation: 3.6 million 
Residents enjoy a strong social scene with many bars and restaurants to choose from. Seattle has also been called the new “center of the tech boom,” with companies like Amazon and Microsoft bringing many jobs to the area.

5. New York, New York City

Metro area p
opulation: 19.9 million 
Unsurprisingly, the largest city offers one of the most diverse populations. It also provides an attractive mix of walking, biking, and public transportation; 39.1% of commuters are not dependent on a car, the largest percentage out of all cities.

4. San Jose, California

Metro area p
opulation: 1.8 million
 The paychecks in San Jose are larger than any other major metro, averaging out to $US79,331 per year for 22- to 35-year-olds.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Metro area p
opulation: 4.7 million 
With MIT, Harvard, and Tufts all in the vicinity, Boston is a mecca for some of the world’s most educated people.

It’s not a surprise that many people educated in Boston would choose to settle down in a city where there’s plenty to do and relatively easy to get around without a car. Nearly 20% of commuters don’t depend on a car, compared to just 2.6% for Raleigh, which is 10 on this list.

2. San Francisco, California

Metro area population: 4.5 million 
While the median rent in San Francisco is among the highest in the nation at $US1,850 per month, it has a booming technology industry and offers high earnings. The average millennial earns $US72,622 each year. 

1. Washington, DC

Metro area p
opulation: 5.8 million 

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