GOBankingRates

25 Best Places To Live for Millennials

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When people think of millennial havens, the first places that come to mind are probably big tech cities like Seattle or influencer meccas like Los Angeles. Sure, those cities have vibrant young populations, but they may not be the best when it comes to overall quality of life for the millennial generation.

See: Baby Boomers, Gen X or Millennials — Who Really Had It Worst?
Find Out: 20 Jobs Where Millennials Can Make Six Figures

To find the best places for millennials in the U.S., GOBankingRates analyzed metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) that had a millennial population around or above 21.6% — the national average. Further factors for “best millennial cities” included millennial population growth from 2016 to 2019, total population growth from that same period, median rent and median home list price. The resulting 25 MSAs are affordable and growing, and clearly have great environments for people who fall into the millennial category.

Here’s a look at some of the best places for millennials in the U.S.

Last updated: June 30, 2021
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25. Jackson, Mississippi

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.7%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21%
  • Total population in 2016: 578,095
  • Total population in 2019: 597,727
  • Percent change: 3.40%
  • Median rent: $1,295
  • Median list price: $280,783

Related: Businesses That Millennials Have Killed (and Why It’s for the Best)

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24. Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.7%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,070,147
  • Total population in 2019: 2,124,518
  • Percent change: 2.63%
  • Median rent: $1,192
  • Median list price: $400,000

Read: Life Events Millennials and Gen Zers Are Choosing To Into Debt For

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23. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.9%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,250,247
  • Total population in 2019: 1,267,777
  • Percent change: 1.40%
  • Median rent: $1,284
  • Median list price: $329,967

Need To Know: 17 Steps Millennials Can Take Now for a Brighter Financial Future

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22. Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia-South Carolina

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 20.4%
  • Total population in 2016: 584,964
  • Total population in 2019: 599,616
  • Percent change: 2.50%
  • Median rent: $1,186
  • Median list price: $269,900
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21. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.8%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21%
  • Total population in 2016: 824,667
  • Total population in 2019: 854,318
  • Percent change: 3.60%
  • Median rent: $1,235
  • Median list price: $307,424
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20. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.6%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.4%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,794,570
  • Total population in 2019: 1,871,903
  • Percent change: 4.31%
  • Median rent: $1,637
  • Median list price: $439,960

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19. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina-South Carolina

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 20.9%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,381,152
  • Total population in 2019: 2,545,560
  • Percent change: 6.90%
  • Median rent: $1,567
  • Median list price: $410,100

Learn: 8 Surprising Industries That Are Thriving — and Have Millennials To Thank

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18. Buffalo-Cheektowaga, New York

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 18.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 19.7%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,135,503
  • Total population in 2019: 1,130,175
  • Percent change: -0.47%
  • Median rent: $1,177
  • Median list price: $256,500
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17. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 18.7%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 19.6%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,927,714
  • Total population in 2019: 3,097,859
  • Percent change: 5.81%
  • Median rent: $1,616
  • Median list price: $350,667
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16. Bakersfield, California

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 871,337
  • Total population in 2019: 887,641
  • Percent change: 1.87%
  • Median rent: $1,397
  • Median list price: $313,200
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15. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.8%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 4,486,153
  • Total population in 2019: 4,761,603
  • Percent change: 6.14%
  • Median rent: $1,603
  • Median list price: $448,463

Boomers vs. Millennials: The True Financial Gap

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14. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia-North Carolina

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.2%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.8%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,714,428
  • Total population in 2019: 1,761,729
  • Percent change: 2.76%
  • Median rent: $1,412
  • Median list price: $319,967
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13. El Paso, Texas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.4%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 837,073
  • Total population in 2019: 840,477
  • Percent change: 0.41%
  • Median rent: $1,181
  • Median list price: $242,800
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12. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.9%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.4%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,968,768
  • Total population in 2019: 2,029,472
  • Percent change: 3.08%
  • Median rent: $1,315
  • Median list price: $298,933
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11. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 20.4%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,424,097
  • Total population in 2019: 1,503,574
  • Percent change: 5.58%
  • Median rent: $1,435
  • Median list price: $338,300

Plan Ahead: Why You Should Start Budgeting Now for 2022

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10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 23.2%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 24.4%
  • Total population in 2016: 3,671,095
  • Total population in 2019: 3,871,323
  • Percent change: 5.45%
  • Median rent: $1,858
  • Median list price: $753,300

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9. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 23.2%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 24.3%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,752,056
  • Total population in 2019: 2,892,066
  • Percent change: 5.09%
  • Median rent: $1,709
  • Median list price: $636,667

Learn More: The Cost To Own a 3-Bedroom Home in Every State

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8. Oklahoma City

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.9%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,337,075
  • Total population in 2019: 1,382,841
  • Percent change: 3.42%
  • Median rent: $1,141
  • Median list price: $318,413

From Alabama to Wyoming: The Cost of Living Across America

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7. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.5%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.2%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,328,508
  • Total population in 2019: 2,508,970
  • Percent change: 7.75%
  • Median rent: $1,619
  • Median list price: $392,330
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6. Columbus, Ohio

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 22%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.7%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,995,004
  • Total population in 2019: 2,077,761
  • Percent change: 4.15%
  • Median rent: $1,332
  • Median list price: $349,460

Ranked: The Best and Worst States for Millennials To Buy a Home

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5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.8%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.1%
  • Total population in 2016: 6,957,123
  • Total population in 2019: 7,320,663
  • Percent change: 5.23%
  • Median rent: $1,553
  • Median list price: $384,883

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4. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.2%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 21.9%
  • Total population in 2016: 2,332,345
  • Total population in 2019: 2,468,193
  • Percent change: 5.82%
  • Median rent: $1,324
  • Median list price: $304,000
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3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 22.3%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22.4%
  • Total population in 2016: 6,482,592
  • Total population in 2019: 6,884,138
  • Percent change: 6.19%
  • Median rent: $1,428
  • Median list price: $368,347
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2. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 21.8%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 22%
  • Total population in 2016: 611,755
  • Total population in 2019: 680,439
  • Percent change: 11.23%
  • Median rent: $1,191
  • Median list price: $313,750

Read: Two-Thirds of Older Millennials Are Still Paying Off Student Debt After 10 Years

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1. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas

  • Percent of millennials in 2016: 25.1%
  • Percent of millennials in 2019: 25.6%
  • Total population in 2016: 1,942,615
  • Total population in 2019: 2,114,441
  • Percent change: 8.85%
  • Median rent: $1,527
  • Median list price: $498,267
More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the 25 best places for millennials to live by analyzing U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) along the following criteria: (1) the percentage of the population that is millennial-aged, defined as ages 25 to 39, based on Pew Research’s definition of millennials as being ages 24 to 38 and by restrictions by U.S. Census Bureau on age ranges they track, sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS); (2) three-year growth in millennial-aged population in absolute numbers, from 2016-2019, based on ACS data; (3) three-year growth in millennial-aged population in percentage, from 2016-2019, based on ACS data; (4) three-year growth in total population; (5) three-year growth in total population by percentage, based on ACS data; (6) median monthly rent, sourced from Zillow’s May 2021 index; and (7) median home list price, sourced from Zillow’s May 2021 index. Each factor was scored, summed up and then cities ranked from best to worst. In order to qualify for the study, cities had to have greater than 21.6% of their population be millennial-aged; 21.6% is the average millennial-aged share of the population out of American MSAs. All data was collected and is up to date as of June 17, 2021.