In the US, college is more expensive than ever before.
Moreso than any other generation, millennials are graduating with crippling student debt that may take their entire lives to pay off. Today, the average American student leaves college with $37,172 in loans, a $20,000 hike from 13 years ago.
After millennials earn their diplomas, they often move to cities that promise ample job opportunities, like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle.
But according to a new analysis from financial consultancy RewardExpert, these cities might not be the best places for young people with student loans, since living costs are relatively high.
The report analyzes 207 cities and metro areas based on 23 metrics grouped into five categories: housing availability and costs; transportation infrastructure and transit access; availability and accessibility of jobs requiring at least a college degree; tax rates; and local trends in debt and credit. The data comes from the US Census Bureau, the Urban Institute, HUD, and the DOT.
Here are the top cities for debt-saddled millennials, defined as people born from 1982 through 1995.
One of the fastest growing cities in the US, Fargo has an extraordinarily low unemployment rate at 2.8%. (Nationally it’s about 4.1%.) Housing and transportation costs (as compared to the median income for the area) are also lower than 95% of all cities and metro areas in the analysis.
Note: The Fargo metropolitan area includes Cass County, North Dakota, as well as the city of Morehead and Clay County in Minnesota.