Full List: The Best Cities For Young Professionals 2017


Were should recent grads go?

Were should recent grads go?

To compile Forbes’ annual list of America’s best cities for young professionals we ranked each of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas and divisions in the Unites States by metrics crucial to recent graduates: salary, rent, employment prospects, networking opportunities and social outlook.


  1. Salt Lake City, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $50,500

    Median rent as share of median salary: 17%

    Unemployment rate: 3.4%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.56%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 40%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 13%

  2. Boise City, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $45,700

    Median rent as share of median salary: 22%

    Unemployment rate: 4.2%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.87%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 43% (5)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 13%

  3. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $68,400 (2)

    Median rent as share of median salary: 12% (5)

    Unemployment rate: 2.4% (1)

    Projected annual job growth: 2.00%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 47% (2)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  4. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $50,400

    Median rent as share of median salary: 21%

    Unemployment rate: 3.6%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.97% (2)

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 37%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 15%

  5. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $52,800

    Median rent as share of median salary: 10% (1)

    Unemployment rate: 3.5%

    Projected annual job growth: 3.30% (1)

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 37%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  6. Raleigh, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $50,100

    Median rent as share of median salary: 23%

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (3)

    Projected annual job growth: 1.65%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 39%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  7. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $48,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 36%

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (3)

    Projected annual job growth: 1.02%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 42%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  8. Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $49,500

    Median rent as share of median salary: 24%

    Unemployment rate: 4.0%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.43%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 34%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $69,200 (1)

    Median rent as share of median salary: 13%

    Unemployment rate: 3.5%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.99%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 30%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 15%

  10. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $50,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 14%

    Unemployment rate: 4.5%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.77%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 33%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  11. Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $58,100 (4)

    Median rent as share of median salary: 12% (5)

    Unemployment rate: 4.1%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.87% (4)

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 21%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 15%

  12. Jacksonville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $45,200

    Median rent as share of median salary: 11% (3)

    Unemployment rate: 4.1%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.77% (5)

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 30%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 16% (2)

  13. Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $52,000

    Median rent as share of median salary: 11% (3)

    Unemployment rate: 2.9% (2)

    Projected annual job growth: 2.37%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 43% (5)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  14. Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $50,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 20%

    Unemployment rate: 4.4%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.36%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 15%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 16% (2)

  15. Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $51,800

    Median rent as share of median salary: 10% (1)

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (3)

    Projected annual job growth: 2.72%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 36%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 16% (2)

  16. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $51,200

    Median rent as share of median salary: 25%

    Unemployment rate: 3.4%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.57%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 33%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 13%

  17. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $58,500 (3)

    Median rent as share of median salary: 40%

    Unemployment rate: 3.8%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.40%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 44% (4)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 12%

  18. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $53,200

    Median rent as share of median salary: 13%

    Unemployment rate: 3.6%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.69%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 38%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 13%

  19. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $47,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 21%

    Unemployment rate: 3.7%

    Projected annual job growth: 1.55%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 34%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 17% (1)

  20. Boston, MA Metropolitan Division

    Recent grad median salary: $57,100 (5)

    Median rent as share of median salary: 21%

    Unemployment rate: 3.2% (3)

    Projected annual job growth: 2.63%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 46% (3)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 13%

  21. St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $48,200

    Median rent as share of median salary: 13%

    Unemployment rate: 4.0%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.07%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 36%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  22. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $50,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 14%

    Unemployment rate: 3.9%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.02%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 43% (5)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  23. Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $44,400

    Median rent as share of median salary: 23%

    Unemployment rate: 4.1%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.76%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 30%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 14%

  24. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $49,300

    Median rent as share of median salary: 16%

    Unemployment rate: 4.1%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.94% (3)

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 31%

    Population aged 20 to 29: 16% (2)

  25. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Recent grad median salary: $51,900

    Median rent as share of median salary: 24%

    Unemployment rate: 4.6%

    Projected annual job growth: 2.73%

    Adults with bachelor’s degrees or higher: 54% (1)

    Population aged 20 to 29: 12%



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