D.C. ranks as the overall best ‘state’ for millennials, WalletHub reports, and New Mexico is the worst.
Welcome to the millennial capital.
The District of Columbia is the best place for young 20-somethings and young 30-somethings to live, according to WalletHub’s Best & Worst States for Millennials report released on Tuesday. The list ranked each state and D.C. by categories including Affordability, Education & Health, Quality of Life, Economic Health and Civic Engagement. It also factored in 30 key metrics, including the share of millennials in each state, the millennial unemployment rate and the millennial voter-turnout rate. The nation’s capital was the overall top spot.
Although D.C. is among the least affordable places to live, coming in at 43rd place out of 51 on WalletHub’s list, the high cost of living is balanced out by being number one for Education & Health, Quality of LIfe and Civic Engagement. So while the average price of a home increased 36% between 2010 and 2015, according to Trulia, and the average one-bedroom apartment rents for almost $2,000 a month, housing costs are offset by free museums and monuments to enjoy. It’s also the best city for women in tech, according to a recent report from personal finance site SmartAsset, which noted that women make up 38.5% of the tech workforce in D.C., and take home just over $56,000 on average after housing costs.
North Dakota came in second place thanks to being the most affordable state to live in, as well as scoring the top spot for Economic Health. It’s also the state with the highest percentage of millennials in the country, as the young professionals flock to the Midwestern state’s low unemployment rate (2.7%) and booming industry around oil exploration, according to state’s census office.
Minnesota, Massachusetts and Iowa rounded out the top five best places for millennials. Massachusetts also struggles from being an expensive place to live (in 39th place) but the home of Harvard, Wellesley and MIT comes in second place for Education & Health; third place for Quality of Life and fifth place for Economic Health. WalletHub also recently named Massachusetts the best state to raise a family thanks to affordable housing and good schools, well fellow best millennial states Minnesota and North Dakota close behind.
And Iowa muscled its way into the top five thanks to being the fifth most affordable state and sixth best state for Education & Health.
On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico is the worst place for millennials, according to the report, due to low marks in Economic Health (49th place), Quality of Life (48th place) and Education & Health (43rd place) in particular. It suffers from having the second highest unemployment rate after Alaska.
West Virginia was the next least attractive place for young adults, coming in dead last for Quality of Life and Economic Health (both 51st place). Mississippi also made the five worst, even though it’s the fourth most affordable place to live, because it also scored extremely low Quality of Life (49) and Economic Health (50) rankings. Nevada and Alabama rounded out the worst list.
This supports a previous WalletHub report that stated New Mexico is the worst state to raise a family, which took median family salary, the unemployment rate, housing affordability and childcare costs into account. Fellow worst millennial states West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi were also found the least family-friendly.
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