Young adults look for several things in a city, like job opportunities, entertainment venues, and affordable living. These cities offer it all.
The under 35 crowd has different needs in a city than middle-aged or senior adults. Young people want a strong job market, affordable housing, convenience, and chances to have fun. These cities are the best of the best when it comes to offering young people a great start at life.
1. Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon is one of the most forward thinking cities in the country. With a strong job market, tons of music and entertainment venues, and some of the lowest utilities prices in the nation, Portland ranks as one of the best places to live for those under 35. The city is full of young creative types, and most workers are able to commute to their jobs via the mass transit system or bike routes, making it unnecessary to own a vehicle.
2. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas has some of the cheapest (and arguably the best) food and drinks in the country, along with tons of outdoor activities to enjoy and music venues. With a low unemployment rate of under 6 percent and over 15 percent of residents single, it’s a great place to work and to find a date. Jobs are open in top companies like Paypal, Facebook, and eBay, as well as in the entertainment industry. Hint: the cheapest rent in Austin is found south of Oltorf Street, which is just a few minutes from the jobs downtown.
3. Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin boasts one of the most educated populations, largely due to the University of Wisconsin, the cornerstone of the community. Aside from being one of the area’s top employers, the university offers year round entertainment with its sports teams. The low unemployment rate of under 5 percent is also thanks to the university, as well as Epic Systems, which develops software for the health care industry. Madison is also home to outdoor fun, including boating or fishing on one of many nearby lakes, such as Kegonsa, Waubesa, Mendota, and Monona.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta boasts some of the highest starting salaries in the country, ideal for those looking to jumpstart a career. It also offers lots of cheap takeout food, thrift stores for affordable and trendy shopping, music venues, and tons of coffee houses. The metro area of Atlanta isn’t known for cheap housing, but many of the surrounding suburbs provide affordable housing a short commute from the major employers of downtown.
5. Long Beach, California
Long Beach is the ideal city for environmentalists who prefer to bike to work or use public transport. It also offers cheap services, such as manicures, pedicures, and hair salons. This city is ideal for the beach lover who wants to spend their weekends basking in the pleasant climate while surfing or sunbathing. Long Beach also boasts lots of nightspots for meeting, greeting, and celebrating life. Great job opportunities there include the school system, Boeing, the university, the city government, healthcare, and Verizon.
When researching a city before deciding to move there, always check key points like unemployment rates, crime rates, and cost of living. Also consider things like climate, airport availability, and local entertainment options so you’re assured a high quality of living beyond housing and a paycheck. All these things factor into how much you enjoy living in a city. Do your research to find the best places to live for you.
Jeff Schultz is an Atlanta-based travel enthusiast and writer contributing to blogs and publications around the country.