• May 2015

The 25 Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials: Where Do You Want to Live?

By Eurah Lee
Millennials Radio Show

“Generations of young professionals have sought — and continue to covet — first jobs in places like New York and Washington, DC, but as the job market remains uncertain and the cost of living continues to rise, many young people are now considering cities for reasons beyond their traditional cache,” explained Forbes.com reporter Kathryn Dill in her article, Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials.

In it, she refers to research by Niche.com, which since 2002 has been tracking the behaviors, preferences, and decision-making of Millennials.

In 2014, Niche.com analyzed the data on cities and metro areas with 1 million residents or more from the US Census, FBI, and surveys of nearly half a million college students and graduates from over the past four years.

The Top 25 Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials ranks the best places for young people to live in the United States, based on more than a dozen factors as well as surveys of nearly 500,000 college students and recent grads. View the full methodology and list of factors here.

Here are the top six cities, according to the survey:

  1. New York City, NY Percent who are age 25-34: 14% • Median rent: $1,157 • Median income: $31,703 • Crime rate: low • Representative college: New York University • Best neighborhood for Millennials: Greenpoint (Brooklyn)
  2. Austin, TX Percent who are age 25-34: 17% • Median rent: $936 • Median income: $30,816 • Crime score: below average • Representative college: University of Texas – Austin • Best neighborhood for Millennials: South River City
  3. Washington, DC Percent who are age 25-34: 15% • Median rent: $1,353 • Median income: $42,226 • Crime score: average • Representative college: Georgetown University • Best neighborhood for Millennials: Clarendon (Arlington)
  4. Chicago, IL Percent who are age 25-34: 14% • Median rent: $931 • Median income: $30,061 • Crime score: average • Representative college: DePaul University • Best neighborhood for Millennials: Wicker Park
  5. San Francisco, CA Percent who are age 25-34: 15% • Median rent: $1,344 • Median income: $36,119 • Crime score: average • Representative college: University of San Francisco • Best neighborhood for Millennials: Cow Hollow
  6. Boston, MA Percent who are age 25-34: 13% • Median rent: $1,163 • Median income: $33,659 • Crime score: below average • Representative college: Boston University • Best neighborhood for Millennials: Spring Hill (Somerville)

See the entire list here.

What Are the 15 Most Affordable Cities for Millennials?

According to RealtyTrac:

  • Two counties in Georgia made the list, led by Richmond County in the Augusta-Richmond County metro area at No. 1.
  • Despite a below-national-average estimated median income of $37,561 in Richmond County, a relatively low median home price of just $64,100 translated into less than 11 percent of median income spent on a house payment for a median priced home.
  • Other states with two counties making the list of most affordable for buying were Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Tennessee.”

Click here to view the entire list.

20-somethings Share Their Dreams: Where do they want to live post-college graduation?

Ashley Stokes

I am 23 years old, and I am a broadcast journalism student at VCU. If all goes as planned, I should be graduating this upcoming December. I was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but I have family primarily in the Low Country area (near Charleston). When I was about 5, my family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, then roughly eight or nine years later, we moved again, this time to Richmond. I’d love to live in the downtown area of Richmond after graduation, because I love how diverse and beautiful the city is compared to the counties that surround Richmond. I would probably be much healthier, too, since everything is within walking/biking distance. However, since I really want to become a well-known radio personality, I will literally go (almost) anywhere in the US, except Alaska.

Having said that, NYC is another exception. All I can think about are the bed bugs, roaches, and rats. Yes, I am aware that those things can be found anywhere, but I don’t want to take my chances.

The top factors that I will weigh when relocating are:

  1. Crime rate/safety
  2. Diversity/culture
  3. Taxes
  4. Career opportunities
  5. Traffic
  6. How attractive the men are. I need to get married by 30 — and I don’t want to settle!

Alonzo Small

Born in Brooklyn, New York, I have lived all of my life on the East Coast. When I was very young I moved to Panama, in Central America, and eventually moved back to New York before relocating to Virginia, where I have lived ever since. My family and I resided in the Tidewater area, which insiders call the “7-5-7,” or the “Seven Cities.” I’ve lived in six of the seven cities: Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.

Upon graduation, I’d like to live in an up-and-coming city where journalism opportunities are flourishing. Talking to friends, relatives, and classmates makes Charlotte, North Carolina, seem like a good city to live in, and Georgia and Florida are also among my top-tier choices. I would consider job opportunities, area, and productivity when considering my move. Money would also be a big factor, but only in terms of helping with the process of relocating. Last but not least, my heart would have to be in the move.

New York is the epitome of the “big city” — and it’s somewhere I want to avoid, at least early in my career. Since I still have family there, I’m lucky that I can get the New York experience without having to live there. Nor do I see myself relocating overseas. I saw and experienced so much while in the US Navy that I’ve fulfilled my desire to see “what else is out there.” Now I just want to start small and work my way out of my comfort zone and then push forward to greater opportunities. Personally, I feel this is the best way to gain a strong work ethic and succeed in achieving the wildest of dreams.

Grace Holz-Fernandez

I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico; moved to DC; to Naples, Italy; to Utah; and to Richmond, Va. After graduation I see myself in a busy city, somewhere like LA or New York. Obviously living comfortably in New York would be nice, but even living in a closet and poor wouldn’t bother me.

To me, New York is a city of magic where you can be anyone you want to be. That beats any money in the world. Top factor I consider when relocating are the people and the weather. And being in an already developed city helps, since it means there’s plenty to do and it’s likely to have well-established bars/restaurants that attract young professionals.

Eurah Lee

I have backpacked and traveled to 50+ cities in more than 10 countries within the last five years — including Spain, Shanghai, and Seoul, South Korea. It’s all delicious to me.

While I really like living in Richmond, Pad Thai from the restaurant down the street from my apartment near VCU will never taste quite as good as that time I ate it on a scorching-hot day, exploring the nose-tingling food alleys of Bangkok. In fact, I temporarily lost my ability to hear after underestimating the amount of spice in that dish.

Throughout my travels, I have come to realize that any place is only as good as the company you find there. I honestly cannot remember fully breathing in the majestic Taj Mahal this past summer, but I do remember grabbing beers and chicken marsala with the two Belgian buddies I had met along the way. College graduation is in my winter forecast, and the possibilities are endless.

To me, a new city is a new adventure. And I deem any city livable if it’s one where I can bike to the nearest Asian grocery to pick up some Dim Sum for a Saturday hike.

Here are my top five factors for relocating:

  1. Transportation (Having a car is like having a kid; I’ll pass for now.)
  2. Weather (Sunny with some rain is essential to fitting in an all-day “Godfather” marathon.)
  3. Nature
  4. Competitive Millennial population
  5. Diversity (Where will I eat my Korean BBQ?)

The city in my immediate future is LA, where I’ve lined up an internship with an entertainment agency this summer. I’m not sure yet exactly where in LA I will be living, which means I have to head to the DMV this week to renew my driver license. I know transportation was number one on my factor list, but when the opportunity is otherwise so good. Tune in for future articles on my internship in Los Angeles this summer!

Don’t miss our podcast interview with some of my favorite Millennials in Richmond, VA, on the latest episode of “Millenials Radio Show” on the Inkandescent Radio Network.