Top 10 Cities for Graduating College Students

College graduates are scouring the country, looking for a place to lay down roots and begin their careers. They’re searching for areas where there are vacancies and relatively affordable rents, plenty of job prospects and short commutes, shows a new® survey.

Topping the list for 2024 grads is Austin, Texas, followed by Bloomington, Minn., and Pittsburgh, according to®’s “Top Markets for Recent College Graduates” report.

“Graduates have a lot to consider when deciding where to start the next phase,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “Considerations like finding an affordable place to live, positive job prospects and a nice lifestyle are all important, but it can be tricky to balance these factors.”

College grads may be drawn to renting first before building stronger roots through homeownership.® analyzed cities across the country to identify places with affordable rents (based on rent-to-income ratios), abundant rental choices, jobs for people with a college degree, appealing lifestyles (based on Yelp data on entertainment, restaurants, shopping and lifestyle businesses), as well as the number of other young professionals living in the city.®’s rankings reveal the following top rental markets for 2024 college graduates, ages 25 to 34, are:

  1. Austin, Texas
    Rent-to-income ratio: 21.4%
  2. Bloomington, Minn.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 19.9%
  3. Pittsburgh
    Rent-to-income ratio: 21.7%
  4. Raleigh, N.C.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 21.4%
  5. Overland Park, Kan.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 20.7%
  6. Richmond, Va.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 24.6%
  7. Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 24.4%
  8. Beaverton, Ore.
    Rent-to-income ratio: 22.9%
  9. St. Louis
    Rent-to-income ratio: 21.7%
  10. Atlanta
    Rent-to-income ratio: 26.7%

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