The Best Cities for Millennials To Live & Thrive

There’s no denying that millennials have been dealt tough hands. The housing market is less than stellar, job opportunities are scarce in many once-traditional industries, and prices for everything keep rising.

That said, there are some metropolitan enclaves where millennials can make a living and thrive in their social environments. Today, let’s break down some of the best cities for millennials to move to and live in.

What Makes a City Good for Millennials?

A city is a city, right? Not necessarily, especially if you are a millennial looking to find a city for the next few years.

A city is good for millennials if it’s:

  • Relatively affordable in terms of cost of living
  • Has enough housing and apartment options
  • Has good job prospects — remember, millennials are in the middle of their professional careers, so they need to have places to work
  • Have good social scenes and ample recreational activities

A lot of cities certainly fit the above bill. But some cities are undoubtedly better than others.

15 Best Cities Where Millennials Can Thrive

Let’s take a closer look at the 15 best cities for millennials where they can get good jobs, purchase houses, or enjoy other major benefits.

1. Austin, Texas

By far the best city for millennials to live in and thrive is Austin, Texas. This bustling, growing metro area has more affordable housing than Houston or Dallas, but it also has a growing tech and industrial sector. Thus, millennials to move here will find plenty of places in which to live and plenty of job opportunities.

Millennials will also love that Austin has delicious food, a thriving arts and music sector, and much more. In short, there’s no reason not to consider Austin as your future moving destination.

2. Denver, Colorado

You can’t forget Denver, Colorado, one of the many major metropolitan gateways to the Rocky Mountains. Millennials make up 23 percent of the population here, and while median home prices are a bit expensive at $567,420, the median rent is very affordable at about $1200.

There’s a phenomenal hiking community in Denver, making it perfect for millennials who are fans of outdoor activities. Millennials who move here should also check out the craft beer brewing industry, which is one of the biggest industries in Colorado and the country as a whole.

3. Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa could be the perfect place to move to as a millennial worker because of its affordable housing. On top of that, Des Moines is known for its steadily growing economy, particularly in the tech sector.

It’s a great place to start a new business or innovate in your current industry, so it might be the ideal city for millennial entrepreneurs looking to make names for themselves.

4. Portland, Oregon

Portland is another phenomenal city for millennials, with median home prices running under $504,000. More importantly, millennials make up about 20 percent of Portland’s population, so workers and young families of this generation will find plenty of like-minded friends and coworkers to get along with.

Of course, you can't forget the other elements that make Portland a great place to live, including a wonderful climate, ample hiking opportunities, and a tasty food scene (particularly for health-focused diners).

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is the most populous city in Utah, and it is a modernized, heavily urban area with lots of job opportunities, great hiking nearby, and beautiful scenery. While it has a heavy population concentration of those of the Mormon faith, people of all stripes and all religions can find places to live and work here.

6. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls in South Dakota is the most populous city in South Dakota and accounts for about 30 percent of the state’s population overall. That means it’s the perfect place for millennials of all ages and professions, particularly those who appreciate affordable housing prices.

Given South Dakota’s relative remoteness compared to the rest of the country, you could find it easier to purchase a house here than anywhere else.

7. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington, is a popular city for millennials, and for good reason. It has a progressive culture that is a favorite among members of this generation, and there’s lots to see and do, ranging from nature hikes to restaurants to try and much more.

On the downside, Seattle is one of the more expensive metro areas, particularly for millennials. The median home price is over $800,000, and the median rent hovers around $2500 per month. Still, for those millennials who can afford it, Seattle might be a great place in which to live.

8. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska, has thriving tech and construction sectors, offering job opportunities for millennials who decide to move here. Housing is pretty affordable, and you'll find that the wide open spaces are perfect for millennials who want to purchase lots of property with spare acreage for expansion or farming.

9. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis in Minnesota has affordable homes, with median prices hovering around $230,000 per year. Median rent is also very affordable, making it a great place for up-and-coming millennials who need affordable places to live for themselves or their families.

But Minneapolis is also popular because of its food culture and its nightlife; downtown Minneapolis in particular is a bustling scene with lots of clubs, bars, and late-night shows for new movers to check out once they arrive.

10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania is another good city for millennials of all ages and professions, as members of this generation make up about 21 percent of the population. Median home values are particularly attractive and affordable, clocking in at a little over $200,000. Even if a millennial wants to rent, they may pay less than $1000 per month for a decent apartment.

Pittsburgh is a culturally stimulating and bustling community, offering excellent job opportunities for tech professionals, medical students, and much more. In many ways, it's primed to become an even more popular and populous city over the next few decades.

11. Indianapolis, Indiana

The capital of Indiana is another great place for millennials to move to. It’s a major business hub for the Midwest, and it offers a wide range of different attractions, restaurants, and shopping experiences. Just keep in mind that winters can be pretty cold!

12. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City in Missouri is a popular city for millennials to move to in part because of its music scene and its excellent food. On top of that, you'll find that housing is pretty affordable here relative to the rest of the country.

13. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville — also called Music City — is the most popular and populous city in Tennessee, and it has relatively affordable housing. This is a great place for millennials to move to in part because it is budget-friendly but also because it has one of the most vibrant arts and entertainment scenes.

If you like honky-tonk music, great barbecue, or vintage fashion, Nashville will almost certainly have plenty of places for you to check out and enjoy.

14. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, could be a perfect place to move you as a millennial, as the cost of living is about 12 percent below the national average. Groceries and restaurant prices are pretty affordable compared to Cleveland, which is nearby. It's also one of the best places to live in the Midwest thanks to ample job opportunities.

15. Miami, Florida

Last but not least is Miami, Florida, where you're sure to get plenty of sun and time on the beach if you choose to move here. Housing prices are pretty high in Miami compared to the other cities on this list, but there’s a lot of value to warrant that price, including tourist attractions, delicious food, and a vibrant multicultural population that welcomes new millennial movers.

Shipping Your Car to Your New City

Finding the right place to work and live as a millennial is just the start. You'll next have to figure out how to ship all of your things — including your clothes, possessions, and your vehicles — to your future destination.

Relocating your car to your new city doesn’t have to be difficult, however. Our licensed specialists can help you transfer your car wherever you need to go, including any of the above metro areas.

Not only do we offer affordable car hauling for movers on a budget, but we also offer enclosed car hauling for millennial movers who have luxury or high-quality vehicles they want to keep safe from debris and inclement weather.

Bottom Line

All in all, any of the above cities could be a perfect spot for a young professional millennial looking to build a career or a pair of millennials trying to start a family. Think about each city's climate, cost of living, and other factors before getting your moving ducks in a row.

When the time comes to move your vehicles, we can help. Our licensed and fully insured specialists can move your family vehicles from one place to another on time and on budget. Contact us today to learn more.

Cost of Living: Definition, How to Calculate, Index, and Example | Investopedia
Denver CO Home Prices & Home Values | Zillow
Portland Housing Market: House Prices & Trends | Redfin
Seattle WA Home Prices & Home Values | Zillow

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