Recent college graduates have a lot to consider when thinking about their next steps. In addition to career paths, they must weigh quality-of-life factors in the cities they may soon call home.
Niche.com has taken out some of the guesswork in its recent list of the top cities and neighborhoods for millennials, and three of the 25 metro areas (with populations of at least 1 million) are in Texas. Austin ranked No. 2, just behind New York City. Dallas earned a respectable No. 8 slot, and Houston landed at No. 21.
To determine the winners, the site looked at data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, plus it surveyed more than 500,000 college students and recent graduates. While the former provided obvious statistics like percentage of population between 25 and 34 years old, median rent and income, racial diversity, and unemployment rate, the surveys helped Niche.com take into account factors such as sports, shopping, nightlife, accessibility and cultural attractions.
“The economic climate right now is difficult for recent college grads,” Mark Tressler, Niche.com director of business development, told Forbes. “With a ranking like this we’re combining the fun stuff with more practical things like safety and the unemployment rate. It’s a good balance of what you need to think about when you’re starting to get serious about life beyond college.”
Austin, with 17 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 34, boasts a median rent of $936, median income of $30,816 and below-average crime score. The site also declared South River City/Travis Heights the best neighborhood for millennials to live.
As for Dallas, 15 percent of residents are ages 25-34, and the city has a median rent of $874 and median income of $29,830. Like Austin, the crime score was “below average,” and Niche.com determined that Oak Lawn is the right neighborhood for these young professionals.
Houston has a median rent of $860, median income of $28,306 and an “average” crime score. Fifteen percent of Houstonians fit within that 25-34 age range, and those folks should plant roots in Midtown.