Welcome Grads

Where should new college grads settle down? Austin, of course.

Where should new college grads settle down? Austin, of course.

Austin skyline downtown at night
New grads should head to Austin, according to this study. Texas Wide Open for Business/Facebook

Not a surprise: Young professionals love Austin. It's not just the mix of hip culture and Hill Country beauty that attracts recent grads but Austin's healthy job prospects and (relatively) low cost of living. 

All of this is reinforced by a new report that names Austin the No. 1 big city for new grads. For the study, OnlineDegrees.com ranked 40 U.S. cities on eight factors: median rent, renter-occupied housing, percent of the population between ages 20 and 34, median earnings, cost of living, arts and entertainment options, state-level job growth, and unemployment. 

Austin comes out on top, with three other Texas cities right behind. The Capital City has the lowest unemployment rate (3.4 percent) of any city on the list, and a full quarter of its population falls into the "younger adult" range. Local bachelor's degree holders can expect to earn a median income of $50,892, while job growth statewide is projected to grow 21.5 percent between 2012-2022.

Houston (No. 3), San Antonio (No. 5), and Dallas (No. 7) also score high marks. Houston boasts more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other city in the U.S. except New York, and San Antonio is the second-most affordable city on the list. Dallas gets a nod for its plethora of entertainment options and status as a "travel hub," thanks to Southwest Airlines and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

California also shows well, with San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose all making the top 10.