The 8 Best U.S. Cities for Millennials

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 34, you’re part of the Millennial generation. You’re the largest American generation ever to walk the earth and, as you’re keenly aware, the world has placed a lot of stereotypes on you that may or may not be true.

One of those stereotypes is that you’re quite picky about where you live. A sensible home or apartment in the suburbs isn’t going to cut it for you. Instead, you’re looking for something more vibrant, alive and exhilarating.

Nestpick, a website dedicated to helping people find apartments in the city of their choice, ranked the best cities for Millennials. The company looked at conventional factors including affordable rent, access to quality healthcare and plenty of job. But the score also included more eclectic factors, among them internet speed, LGBT friendliness, the average price of beer and the number of Apple stores per capita.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, took the top spot, with the German cities of Berlin and Munich taking the next two positions. However, if you’re not looking to leave the United States, we looked at the top U.S. cities. Truth be told, the top U.S. city comes in at 41 on the Nestpick list, but you might be surprised at some of the other findings.

8 Best U.S. Cities for Millennials

Here, according to Nestpick, are the urban centers that Millennials might find optimal to live in.

1. Austin, Texas – If you’re a Millennial and want to move to a U.S. city, Nestpick suggests Austin, Texas. In fact, the city scores highest of any city in the world when it comes to internet speed. It also ranks high in employment opportunities, number of Apple stores and city festivals.

2. San Francisco, Calif. Millennials fresh out of college and looking for work might find San Francisco hard to afford with its high cost of living, but for the budding entrepreneur it doesn’t get much better. The California city posted a perfect score in the startup column and ranked high for LGBT friendliness and number of Apple stores.

3. Denver, Colo. According to the survey, you won’t find much nightlife in Denver, but it’s another great city for entrepreneurs – tech start-ups in particular. It also scores high on Internet speed. And, of course, the state is very marijuana-friendly.

4. Portland, Ore. Many of the top cities boast an environment perfect for entrepreneurs. Portland is another of these cities. Along with that, it’s also a tech-friendly town with a high number of Apple stores and fast internet speeds. But like many ultra-trendy cities, the cost of housing may put it out of reach of some Millennials.

5. Seattle, Wash. Home to Starbucks and Amazon, Seattle is a mecca for Millennials. Maybe that’s part of what gives the city an almost perfect score for start-up friendliness and internet speed. But just as with Portland and many of our top cities, good luck affording an apartment. Seattle scores a 0.70 out of 10 for apartment affordability.

6. Los Angeles, Calif. Of all the American cities in the survey, San Francisco and Los Angeles score highest in LGBT friendliness, but you’ll also find a good start-up culture in this tech-y town. It’s also great for tourism and posted a respectable score in the “access to contraception” column.

7. New York City, N.Y. As you would imagine, the city posts high scores in tourism, night life and start-up culture. But of all the U.S. cities, it has the lowest score in restaurants (New Yorkers would disagree).  And sadly, it rates highest on the whole list for the price of beer.    

8. Chicago, Ill. Although the city has a strong start-up culture, housing costs are high and LGBT friendliness is rated low. You’ll find fast internet speeds, but the restaurant scene is nothing impressive, according to the survey.

The Bottom Line

Many U.S. cities are great places for tech entrepreneurs, but the U.S. doesn’t fare well in some of the more social metrics. If you’re looking for the top nightlife cities, you’ll likely have to move outside of the U.S. To see what the other options are, check out the survey for yourself.

You may also be interested in Cities Where the Most Millennials Live with Their Parents and Sushinomics: Measuring Cost of Living for Millennials.