The Best U.S. Cities For Gen Z, According to a New Report

published May 16, 2021
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While the upheaval caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by just about every generation, one particular group has had to confront a more challenging type of new world. Much of Generation Z — identified as those born between 1997 and 2012 with an age range of 16 and 24 by Pew Research Center — has had to enter the job market for the very first time amid an unprecedented economic recession due to the pandemic. While Millennials have been coined the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, Pew Research Center noted that Gen Z has proven to be even more diverse, even having taken shape to become the best-educated generation yet.

With Gen Z poised to transform the economic and social fabric of the nation, moveBuddha, a moving estimation site, released a new report on the best U.S. cities for the post-Millennial generation. Analyzing economic and social data sets, including population estimates (via the U.S. Census Bureau), rent costs, employment opportunities, and the dating scene, the report narrowed in on the best 25 U.S. cities for the next generation of young adults. Read on below for key findings.

Credit: MH Anderson Photography/Shutterstock

Three of the top five cities with the best job prospects are sprawling metropolises with over 6 million residents: Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, California; and Boston, Massachusetts. The report also determined some of the top fields of study among Gen Z (business, healthcare, social sciences, and psychology) and cross-referenced the best cities for these degrees, naming places like Durham and Chapel Hill in North Carolina; Minneapolis and Saint Paul in Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; among others. 

In terms of affordability, Cincinnati, Ohio (up to ~$676 for a one-bedroom apartment); Sioux Falls, South Dakota (up to ~$700); and Fargo, North Dakota (up to ~$696) offer lower than average rent costs and more spending leeway. Other affordable cities that made the list include Madison, Wisconsin; Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue in Washington; and Manchester, New Hampshire. Unsurprisingly, San Francisco, California ranked as the city with the highest cost of living. Finally, cities with high concentrations of young adults and folks with Bachelor’s degrees or higher include Madison, Wisconsin; Fargo, North Dakota; Columbus, Ohio; and San Francisco, California.

For a more comprehensive breakdown of the report, visit moveBuddha.