New study ranks the best places for millennials to live, and it may not be where you thought it would be.
The financial website, wallethub.com, has just released its report on the Best and Worst States for Millennials, and the rankings may just cause a bit of surprise. Well, maybe not the top spot so much, but the next couple of states were not ones I certainly would have assumed.
The survey considered things like Affordability, Education and Health, Quality of Life, Economic Health, and Civic Engagement to rank the nation’s states and District of Columbia as the best places for millennials to thrive. The aforementioned DC was awarded the highest score in the rankings, but the states of North Dakota and Minnesota came in at numbers two and three, respectively.
I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t really considered those areas to the epicenter of millennial happiness, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers. I probably would have guessed states like New York, California, Washington and Oregon to be the top contenders, but of those four, Washington was ranked the highest at number eleven.
New York finished at 19, while California came in at number 22, with the latter being dragged down by ranking number 48 of 51 in the Affordability category. Just FYI, Oregon ranked 33rd.
According to the survey, the lowest cost states for millennial housing were Iowa, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, and, here we are, North Dakota. Contrast that to the states of Hawaii, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts that were the most expensive.
North Dakota also had the lowest unemployment rate for millennials in the nation, with Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi tied for the highest rate.
And the state with the lowest percentage of millennials living with their parents, a common critique of their generation? You guessed it, North Dakota. Incidentally, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York had the highest percentages.
Calling the millennial generation the “most popular and unpopular generation alive,” the site notes they will soon be the largest generation, and points out that millennials “are responsible for 21 percent of all consumer discretionary spending in the U.S.”
Despite that fact, Wallethub notes that by one estimate, millennials earn 20 percent less than the Baby Boomers were earning at the same age, citing the financial crisis for at least part of the reason. Entering the workforce at the end of the Great Recession, “significantly reduced their job prospects and earning potential for decades to come,” according to the release.
The survey’s map shows a concentration of states in the North Central part of the US as among the best areas for today’s millennial generation, and the Southeast as one of the worst. But somehow, I don’t see many of those raised in the hot, humid south taking too kindly to the northern winters of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Nonetheless, North Dakota, we salute you as the best actual state for millennials to live in our nation in 2018. Of all the categories rated, North Dakota’s lowest rating was in the Education and Health section, and that was 18 out of 51. You might say that’s pretty darn good.
You can find your state’s ranking and more information here.