Graduation Station

College grads are much better off in Austin than the rest of the country

College grads are better off in Austin than the rest of the country

Austin skyline
Austin is the eighth best city in the country for recent college graduates. Photo courtesy of Metropia

If you recently graduated and reside in Austin, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for making great life decisions.

NerdWallet recently analyzed the 100 largest U.S. cities to determine which metro areas provide the best environments for college graduates. Focusing on job opportunities, age of population, rent costs, median earnings, and unemployment rates, the financial website found that Austin is the eighth best city in the country for recent grads.

According to the report, Austin added 34,900 new jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, a growth rate of 3.8 percent — one of the highest in the nation. The Capital City also had an unemployment rate of only 3.1 percent as of December 2015 — one of the lowest in the nation (the national average is 5 percent).

In highly educated Austin, those 25 and older with a bachelor's degree earn a median income of $50,202 and can expect to spend 25.9 percent of their income on rent. Perhaps surprising is that although Austin is becoming increasingly unaffordable, it still ranks so well because grads make enough cash to help offset steep rents.

Austin is the only Texas city to make it into the top 10, with Lubbock coming in next at No. 14, followed by Dallas and Houston at Nos. 26 and 27, respectively.

While Austin’s pretty great, it looks like Arlington, Virginia; Madison, Wisconsin; and Washington are the best cities for college graduates. On the opposite end of the spectrum are Stockton, California; North Las Vegas, Nevada; and Hialeah, Florida, the three worst cities to live post-college.