Here’s an update of our Top 25 Cities for College Graduates which ran earlier this week at The Daily Beast. Since my MPI team did the analysis for all 350-plus U.S. metros, we decided to break out the rankings by metro size. Below you’ll find the top 25 rankings for metros in three size groups – large metros (1 million and above), medium-size metros (between 250,000 and 1 million people), and small metros (those with under 250,000 people).
As we’ve said before, this is a data-driven analysis and small shifts in the weighting can make a significant difference in the final rankings. So treat these rankings as a broad guide to interesting places and try not get too bogged down by the specific ranks.
And do have a look at our Place-Finder tool to help find the place that’s best for you. Enjoy!
Large Metros (over 1 million people)
1. Austin-Round Rock, TX
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
3. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
4. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
5. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
6. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
8. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
10. Baltimore-Towson, MD
11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
12. Columbus, OH
13. Rochester, NY
14. Raleigh-Cary, NC
15. Denver-Aurora, CO
16. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
17. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA
18. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
20. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
21. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
22. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
23. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
24. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
25. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
Medium-Size Metros (250,000 to 1 million people)
1. Madison, WI
2. Ann Arbor, MI
3. Durham, NC
4. Boulder, CO
5. Lincoln, NE
6. Tallahassee, FL
7. Trenton-Ewing, NJ
8. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, CA
9. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
11. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
12. Honolulu, HI
13. Lexington-Fayette, KY
14. Eugene-Springfield, OR
15. Anchorage, AK
16. Lansing-East Lansing, MI
17. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
18. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA
19. Tucson, AZ
20. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY
21. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
22. Fresno, CA
23. Baton Rouge, LA
24. Jackson, MS
25. Albuquerque, NM
Small Metros (fewer than 250,000 people)
1. Ithaca, NY
2. Iowa City, IA
3. Charlottesville, VA
4. College Station-Bryan, TX
5. Lawrence, KS
6. Columbia, MO
7. State College, PA
8. Olympia, WA
9. Bloomington, IN
10. Missoula, MT
10. Athens-Clarke County, GA
12. Champaign-Urbana, IL
13. Fargo, ND-MN
14. Bloomington-Normal, IL
15. Waco, TX
16. Lafayette, IN
17. Bellingham, WA
18. Kingston, NY
19. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
20. Flagstaff, AZ
21. Santa Fe, NM
22. Logan, UT-ID
23. Chico, CA
24. Harrisonburg, VA
25. Auburn-Opelika, AL
The core measures used to develop the ranking are:
- Presence of 20-somethings (20-24-year-olds) in the population.
- Singles – measured as the share of unmarried people.
- Earnings potential – measured as average salary.
- Unemployment rate.
- College-educated workforce – the share of the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Rental housing – Having an abundant, available stock of rental housing is key. We measured this as the share of all housing made up of rental units.
- Youth-oriented amenities – like bars, restaurants, cafes, sports facilities, and entertainment venues.
- Creative capital – we use this to capture the creative energy of a place. It’s measured as the share of employed artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, designers, and entertainers in the workforce.
- Openness – a region’s openness to new and different kinds of people reflects a lack of barriers and willingness to let newcomers, including young people, have a go. Our measure is the share of gays and lesbians and foreign-born residents in a community.
For more on the methodology behind the analysis, visit the full article at The Daily Beast.