The data science team at Insurify, a site for comparing low-cost home insurance policies, referred to publicly accessible data to identify the best city for new college graduates in each state. Cities were ranked based on a composite score of factors including unemployment rate, cost of living, one-bedroom apartment rental prices, ease of alternative transportation, and the number of arts and entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents. A metro area received a higher Overall Appeal Score for having a lower unemployment rate, a lower cost of living, lower one-bedroom rental costs, a higher alternative transportation score, and a higher number of arts and entertainment venues per capita.
Unemployment rates come from a June 2022 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cost of living data come from AdvisorSmith’s City Cost of Living Index, which rates U.S. metropolitan areas by how expensive they are compared to the national average (standardized to a value of 100). Six major categories of household expenses—food, housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and consumer discretionary spending—are weighted and aggregated to produce a single index value for each city. To incorporate housing costs that are more relevant to new graduates, the Insurify team also considered the average monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment in each city using June 2022 data from Apartment List.
Walk Score develops yearly rankings on how easy American cities are to traverse by walking, biking, or taking public transportation. Insurify data scientists combined these three rankings for each city to create a single alternative transit metric. Data on cities’ arts and entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents were taken from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent economic census for arts, entertainment, and recreation. Each metropolitan area’s total number of venues was compared against the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent estimate of that area’s population.
This study considered all U.S. Census Bureau–designated metropolitan statistical areas in the United States in 2022. Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming were excluded from this analysis due to insufficient municipal data.
The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s analysis of publicly available data. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.
What are the best cities for new college grads in 2022?
Believe it or not, St. Louis, MO, is the best city for new college graduates in 2022, with Minneapolis, MN, Rapid City, SD, and Pittsburgh, PA, not far behind. These Midwestern cities offer many of the perks of the nation's large coastal metropolises but have more affordable costs of living.