Welcome to the unreal world

Austin tops new ranking of best U.S. metros for college grads

Austin tops new ranking of best U.S. metros for college grads

graduation girl diploma hat
Austin earns high marks in this report. Photo by Getty Images

This year’s college graduates are entering a real world that’s more unreal than any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. And they’re facing a world with uncertain prospects.

Against that jarring backdrop, the Apartment List website developed a ranking of the top U.S. metro areas for college graduates, and Austin ranks sixth among the country’s 50 largest metro areas.

The ranking, published May 13, takes into account six data points:

  • Average wages among recent college graduates
  • March 2020 unemployment rate
  • Rental costs for recent college graduates
  • Share of adult population with a college degree
  • Share of recent college graduates working in remote-friendly occupations
  • Share of workforce in high-risk industries

Austin's economic scores, says Apartment List, "are well-rounded across the board." The area stands out for its high share of college-educated adults (43 percent) and high share of college graduates working in remote-friendly occupations (77 percent). It also ranks seventh out of 50 for wages, with an average wage of $47,128 for recent college grads.

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston earn mediocre rankings of No. 21 and No. 26, respectively, while San Antonio appears near the very bottom, at No. 43. 

“Each of the nation’s five largest metropolitan areas — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston — failed to break the Top 10,” Apartment List notes. “The Class of 2020 is better off looking into smaller regions that strike a healthier balance between affordability and economic opportunity.”

San Jose, California, the epicenter of Silicon Valley, tops the ranking, followed by San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Boston; and Milwaukee. 

Ranked last is Las Vegas, preceded by Riverside-San Bernardino, California; New Orleans; Miami; and Orlando, Florida.