Best towns for new college grads in US ranked, based on city and metro factors

It’s graduation season! With a new batch of adults entering the world, here is a ranked list of places for college graduates to consider moving to, based on a variety of features that define its relevance to new graduates. The basis of assessing has been further elaborated on in the following passage.

Top 10 Rental Markets for Recent College Graduates for 2024. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)(AP)

Metro-level factors:

Several metro-level characteristics have a significant effect on young adults, including housing affordability, rental availability, job market favorability for recent college graduates, job stability, and employment options.

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Rental affordability is measured by the rent-to-income ratio for households aged 25 to 34, which indicates the feasibility of housing expenses in relation to income. The rental vacancy rate determines rental availability, which has a direct impact on housing possibilities.

City-level factors:

The share of new college graduate-friendly occupations, which highlight accessible employment prospects, determines the job market’s favorability for recent college graduates.

Additionally, job stability is assessed using the predicted unemployment rate, which provides insight into the reliability of employment prospects. Online job opening data summaries provide an overview of available roles in a metro area, highlighting employment opportunities for young people.

The percentage of recent college graduates in a city has an impact on quality of life, indicating a vibrant and innovative environment. The average commute time affects daily convenience and stress levels. Culture and liveliness are measured by the number of lifestyle companies such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, and theatres listed on sites such as Yelp, which provide insight into entertainment and social activities.

Also Read: Jill Biden tells Arizona college graduates to tune out people who tell them what they ‘can’t’ do

Leading rental markets for recent college graduates




College Grad Friendly





Yelp Culture and Lifestyle


1Austin, TX21.4%29.6%26 min21.52Bloomington, MN19.9%26.7%23 min22.43Pittsburgh, PA21.7%24.9%25 min24.64Raleigh, NC21.4%28.8%25 min17.15Overland Park, KS20.7%24.5%22 min18.16Richmond, VA24.6%25.8%24 min24.47Scottsdale, AZ24.4%22.1%23 min25.28Beaverton, OR22.9%25.8%26 min39.59St. Louis, MO21.7%24.7%25 min1910Atlanta, GA26.7%24.8%28 min27.5

In 2024, top cities are offering shorter commute times, with an average of 25 minutes compared to the national average of 30 minutes. This translates to potential savings of 43 hours annually for commuters.

Overland Park, KS, leads the pack with a mere 22-minute average commute, thanks to its strategic location near major highways and thoroughfares. Bloomington, MN, and Scottsdale, AZ, follow closely with a 23-minute average commute, offering efficient transportation options for residents.

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