New MoneyRates Study Names The Best States for Millennials

Based on factors like the job market for young adults, affordable rents and tuition, availability of nightlife and gyms, ranks the best states for millennials.
By Linda Vergon
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Equal parts business and pleasure make North Dakota this year's top state for millennials, while other Midwestern states crowd the top of the rankings.

Foster City, CA - June 25, 2019 - With a new wave of graduates and young workers entering the early stages of their careers, personal finance resource looked at where the best opportunities lay ahead for them, releasing today its new report ranking the best states for millennials.

Analyzing data related to the quality of life for younger Americans, North Dakota ranked as the top state to live in for young adults or millennials, followed closely by two other nearby Midwestern states, Iowa and Nebraska. North Dakota is a magnet for young adults with the highest proportion in the 20-to-24 age group of any state.

In compiling the study, experts from examined eight data sets to measure the best places to live for young adults. The rankings factored in the following aspects of millennial life:

  • Career Opportunities: Young-adult employment statistics
  • Youth Population: Percentage of the population aged 20 to 24
  • Education Affordability: Four-year, public-college education cost for in-state students
  • Housing Abundance: The availability of rental units
  • Cost of Rent: The average cost of rental units
  • Access to Internet: Percentage of households with broadband
  • The Fit Factor: Number of fitness facilities relative to the young-adult population
  • The Fun Factor: The number of bars and nightspots relative to the young-adult population

North Dakota's rise as a great state for millennials is due to a mix of business and pleasure. It has the third-highest rate of young-adult employment and the third-highest concentration of bars and other drinking establishments per capita. The state ranks well for rental-property availability and affordability, which is of great concern for a generation that is delaying buying a home.

Midwest is Nice for Millennials

This year's ranking features numerous Midwestern states near the top. For instance, third-ranked Iowa offers a job market for young adults that is better than average, and it is among the ten best states for affordable rents and nightlife availability. For education, Montana excels at affordability - public tuition for in-state students is the fourth lowest in the nation.

The ten best states for millennials are as follows:

1. North Dakota6. Kansas (tie)
2. Nebraska6. Wisconsin (tie)
3. Iowa8. South Dakota
4. Montana9. Idaho (tie)
5. Wyoming9. Minnesota (tie)

Overall, the report finds employment numbers for young adults vary drastically from state to state. For example, unemployment among young adults is more than three times as bad in Mississippi as it is in Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Massachusetts or Colorado.

Costs for young people can range widely as well. The study shows that renting a place will cost you twice as much in California, the District of Columbia or Hawaii than it would in Mississippi. That goes for the price tag for higher Ed too. For in-state students, a year at a four-year public college costs one-third as much in Wyoming as it does in Vermont or New Hampshire.

It can be tough for a young adult to get started. Between paying for college, getting a job and finding an apartment, even the basics can be challenging. Beyond that, being able to pursue a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle shouldn't be too much to ask, but it isn't always easy. This new report aims to shed light on this, so young people coming into their careers can plan well for their present, prime and long-term futures.

"It's crucial to evaluate overall conditions across a range of factors," notes Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for "Most states have strengths and weaknesses, so trade-offs are involved -- a place where rents are cheap may have a lousy job market; a place with great social amenities may be a tough place to find an apartment. Looking across a diverse range of factors allows you to take the good with the bad and assess where the strengths of a place most outweigh the weaknesses."

Read the full "Best States for Millenials 2019" feature on

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