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10 best U.S. cities for single young professionals

New York is still the go-to city for recent college grads, but according to a new report single young professionals are looking elsewhere.

This month, Renthop released its ranking of the best U.S. cities for single young professionals. The top 100 most-populated cities in the country were ranked based on three factors:

  1. Career: Job opportunities based on most recent metro unemployment rates, median nonfamily household income
  2. Cost of Living: Median rent, cost of groceries, cost of dining out
  3. Dating opportunities: Percentage of population between 20 and 34 years, percentage of single population, interest in dating

Major hubs like New York City and Los Angeles didn’t even rank in the top 10. Los Angeles ranked No. 81, while New York City was named the worst city for single young professionals with a score of 34.73.

The Renthop report states that since New York City is one of the most expensive rental markets in the world, it is a less-than-ideal place for young professionals. The average rent in New York City is $3,400, according to Zillow.

Minneapolis is the best city for single young professionals

Minneapolis is the best city for single young professionals.

Walter Bibikow | The Image Bank | Getty Images

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is richer by median household income than New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, according to The Atlantic.

Among residents under 35, Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area placed in the top 10 for highest college-graduation rate, highest median earnings, and lowest poverty rate, according to a 2023 Neighbor.com report.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is also home to the headquarters of over a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Target, United Health, and General Mills. St. Paul ranked third on Renthop’s list of the best cities for single young professionals.

10 best U.S. cities for single young professionals

  1. Minneapolis
  2. Madison
  3. St. Paul
  4. Pittsburg
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Atlanta
  7. Denver
  8. Lincoln
  9. Seattle
  10. Columbus

Madison, Wisconsin, is the No. 2 best city for single young professionals. The city took the top spot in the dating subcategory thanks in part to its large population of young people. Over 34% of the population in Madison are between 20 and 34 years of age, according to Renthop.

As of 2021, Madison — affectionately known as “Mad City” — is the fastest-growing city in the state.

The median income is $52,450 while the median rent is $1,550, the study states. Madison ranked 17th in the career subcategory and 29th in the cost subcategory.

Madison is Wisconsin’s capital city.

Denistangneyjr | Istock | Getty Images

The city is home to or in close proximity to major employers like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lands’ End, Spectrum Brands, American Girl and more.

A 2023 Neighbor report says that Madison attracted many recent graduates who have chosen to move to the friendly, Midwest city over New York City or San Francisco.

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