The 35 Best Cities For Young Adults

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

A number of factors go into choosing a new city to call home — affordability, quality of life, and availability of jobs are some standard things that young people take into account when considering a move.

Still, there are some elements of city living that many surveys don’t address. How much would a pint of beer in San Francisco cost? Are there a lot of coffee shops in Pittsburgh? Could I go see a concert in Dallas?

News organisation Vocativ just released their second Livability Index, which ranks the 35 best U.S. cities for people under 35. They based their ranking on traditional data, like unemployment rates and average rent, but also included “softer” data points that would be relevant to people in their 20s and 30s.

Cities were chosen based on a number of factors, including youngest population, most single people, lowest average rent, and cheapest gas, electricity, food, and public transportation. Vocativ also factored in the availability of coffee shops, cheap takeout restaurants, and music venues per capita, as well as the prices of beer, cigarettes, and marijuana.

#35 Garland, TX

This Dallas suburb has sunny weather, little crime, and affordable housing and gas.

A relatively new transit system can bring you into the city with ease.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#34 Fort Wayne, IN

Everything is cheap here, from the apartments in converted buildings to the groceries and gas. A bottle of domestic beer will only cost you $US3 in a Fort Wayne bar, though this Midwestern city isn't known for its entertainment options.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#32 Reno, NV

Las Vegas' cousin city ranked 10th in terms of affordable housing. It's not far from Pyramid Lake, a number of ski resorts, and other outdoorsy activities.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#31 Raleigh, NC

Several tech companies have opened offices here in recent years, which has made jobs plentiful. Raleigh's beer is one of the cheapest on the index, and the city scored high marks for being a great place to meet other young singles.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#28 Pittsburgh, PA

The Steel City has more bars per capita than any other U.S. city, and it's easy to get around using cheap taxis or public transportation. There's also a high concentration of coffee shops and beautiful hiking trails.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#24 Chicago, IL

Chicago came in first for entertainment options thanks to its variety of music venues, sports teams, museums, and bars. It also has a great public transportation system.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#22 Winston-Salem, NC

A two-bedroom apartment costs only $US245 a month in Winston-Salem, the most affordable housing of any city on Vocativ's index. Jobs in the medical and technology fields are plentiful here, though overall median income is stagnant.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#20 Lincoln, NE

This Midwestern city has an unemployment rate of only 3%, and housing and utilities are cheap. Though Lincoln may not be as diverse as other cities, the downtown area offers some appealing dining options.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#16 Houston, TX

Houston's public transportation system isn't the best, but it offers plenty of opportunities for both work and play, and gas averages at only $US3.18 a gallon. There are also lots of affordable events and a surprisingly high LGBTQ population.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#15 Lubbock, TX

Though you may be surprised to see this college town on this list, it's amazingly affordable. A two-bedroom apartment costs only $US782 per month, and Internet is only $US42 on average. Lubbock is also a great place to meet people -- the median age is under 30, and more than a third are single.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#14 Dallas, TX

You'll find the cheapest gas in the country in Dallas, with a trip to the pump only costing $US3.14 a gallon on average. It has one of the country's youngest populations, making for a diverse nightlife and plenty of dining options.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#13 Los Angeles, CA

Living here isn't cheap, and public transportation could definitely be improved. Still, Los Angeles has some of the best entertainment options in the country, from Hollywood studios and live music venues to beautiful beaches and hiking trails.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#12 Fort Worth, TX

Several major corporations make their home here, including American Airlines and Lockheed Martin. Fort Worth has some of the most affordable groceries and drinks around, and gas is also cheap.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#11 Boise, ID

Crowd gathered in the mud pit at the Dirty Dash August 25 2012 in Boise, Idaho

With its cheap beer and food offerings, Boise topped the index's ranking of affordable nights out. Though there isn't much diversity, there are lots of outdoorsy adventures to be had.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#10 Portland, OR

Down slightly from its top rank last year, Portland ranked hgih on the livability index for a number of reasons -- the job market is strong, utilities are cheap, and music venues are aplenty. Its known for being a hotspot for young entrepreneurs and other creative types, and it happens to be the cheapest place to buy pot, which goes for $US216.92 an ounce.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#7 Seattle, WA

Westward, Seattle

Despite relatively high rent prices, the Emerald City has one of the lowest unemployment rates on the list, and utilities are incredibly cheap. It's also the second-best city for finding a cup of joe, and there's plenty of amazing restaurants and cheap takeout options.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#5 Austin, TX

Students enjoy a slice of pizza outside a bar along Sixth Street in Austin, Texas November 16, 2012. The party is always raging in Austin's hedonistic 6th Street entertainment district, where some 200 musical acts hit the stages every night and festivals like South by Southwest and the Pecan Street Festival pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the city's economy each year.

With lots of high-paying jobs in government and tech, Austin is the livability index's second-best city for employment. Cheap food, cheap beer, and a thriving music scene are also huge draws for this progressive Texan city.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#4 Denver, CO

Denver Kush Club

The Mile-High City is coveted for its proximity to nature and plentiful microbreweries, but it also has a great green transportation system and lots of affordable takeout and coffee shops. With a competitive team in all four major sports, Denver also ranked high for its entertainment options.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#2 Arlington, TX

Fans tailgate before the start of the MLB American League opening weekend baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox in Arlington, Texas April 6, 2012.

This Texan city got high marks for how cheap rent is -- a two-bedroom apartment will cost you only $US900 a month, and a night out at the local dive bars won't break the bank.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

#1 New York, NY

It may be expensive to live here, but a high cost of living is offset by the country's top public transportation system and one of the most diverse populations. There's also plenty residents can do without spending a fortune, from live music and street food to public art installations.

Source: Vocativ Livability Index

Now see some other cities you should consider.

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