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30 Best Cities for Young Professionals

GOBankingRates Logo By Alexandria Bova of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 31: The younger generations, especially millennials, often get a bad rap for their work ethic. But in 2016, they surpassed Generation Xers — ages 39 to 54 in 2019 — to become the single largest generational group in the U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center. Millennials and Generation Z members currently make up over a third of the workforce. This number will increase to 58% in the next decade, with younger generations dominating the working class. And they are flocking to cities where jobs are in abundance and wages are high. Whether recent graduates or several years into their careers, many young professionals are more flexible when it comes to moving to a new city for better opportunities. But which city will give these career starters the best chance for success? To find the 30 best cities for young professionals, GOBankingRates looked at 100 of the most populous cities in the United States and analyzed each city based on the median annual rent for a one-bedroom apartment and the percentage of the population ages 20 to 34. This age group then was evaluated based on the unemployment rate, labor force participation, median income and the annual cost of living. Finally, the cities were ranked, with No. 30 being good and No. 1 being absolute best. While you won’t find New York City or Los Angeles on this list, there are plenty of affordable options where millennials and Gen Z can flourish. Last updated: Oct. 20, 2020

The younger generations, especially millennials, often get a bad rap for their work ethic. But in 2016, they surpassed Generation Xers — ages 39 to 54 in 2019 — to become the single largest generational group in the U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center.

Millennials and Generation Z members currently make up over a third of the workforce. This number will increase to 58% in the next decade, with younger generations dominating the working class. And they are flocking to cities where jobs are in abundance and wages are high. Whether recent graduates or several years into their careers, many young professionals are more flexible when it comes to moving to a new city for better opportunities. But which city will give these career starters the best chance for success?

To find the 30 best cities for young professionals, GOBankingRates looked at 100 of the most populous cities in the United States and analyzed each city based on the median annual rent for a one-bedroom apartment and the percentage of the population ages 20 to 34. This age group then was evaluated based on the unemployment rate, labor force participation, median income and the annual cost of living. Finally, the cities were ranked, with No. 30 being good and No. 1 being absolute best. While you won’t find New York City or Los Angeles on this list, there are plenty of affordable options where millennials and Gen Z can flourish.

Last updated: Oct. 20, 2020

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