Atlanta, Minneapolis and Boston are the top cities for Gen Z thanks to affordability, relatively low unemployment and a highly educated population.
The cities are the top standouts in a new ranking from CommercialCafe, which evaluated the cities that have the most potential to be havens for Gen Z graduates looking for their first jobs.
“Notably, the majority of the best cities for this generation are concentrated in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest,” CommercialCafe analysts write in a report breaking down the rankings. “Moreover, our list features both affordable options with low unemployment, as well as larger cities boasting a variety of entertainment options, lightning-fast internet and highly educated Gen Z populations.”
Atlanta stood out, with 9.8% of the metro’s population counting themselves among Generation Z, as well as the largest number of parks per resident and ample availability of educated young professionals, which is driving office demand. In addition, 55% of Atlanta Gen Zers were enrolled in some form of education — the second-highest Gen Z educational enrollment nationally.
“Coupled with a cost of life index near the national average and low unemployment (5.1%), Atlanta is a great candidate for ticking all of Gen Z’s boxes — community, walkability, economic prospects and educational opportunities,” the CommercialCafe report notes.
Minneapolis came in at the #2 spot with consistently high marks across most metrics CommercialCafe evaluated. It had the third-highest percentage of Gen Zers of its total population and the fourth-lowest unemployment rate (3.8%) of the cities CommercialCafe analyzed. The cost of living is also on par with the national average.
And coming in at number three, Boston claimed the most educated Gen Z population of all of the cities in CommercialCafe’s study, with almost two-thirds of the city’s Zoomers between the ages of 20 to 24 enrolled in some form of education. The city also has low unemployment and a good availability of green commute options, as well as the second-highest percentage of Gen Zers out of all of the cities the firm ranked.
“While at a city level, Boston lost out due to lower affordability than the other podium entries, it still presents ample opportunities and advantages for Zoomers who graduate from one of its numerous universities or those who want to relocate to one of the nation’s tech and coworking hot spots,” the report states.
Tucson, Raleigh, Columbus, Seattle, Austin, El Paso, and New York City round out the top 10.