For someone who just finished college, the time afterward can be a very exciting time. They start working, take on new responsibilities, and maybe even move to a new city.
A college degree can also pay off almost as soon as you get it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that full-time workers between the ages of 22 and 27 with bachelor’s degrees made a median of $52,000 a year in 2021. Those with only a high school diploma made about $30,000.
Some cities make it easier to start a new life after college and maybe pay off college debt than others. SmartAsset looked at the data to find and rank the best cities for recent college graduates in 2022. In particular, we looked at a number of factors that had to do with jobs, cost, and fun.
Thinking of the best places to live after college? This article provides a complete guide. Keep reading.
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What to Consider when Considering the Best Places to Live After College
So, if you want to stay in the United States, which state should you go to? There are factors you should consider before making up your mind on this. Some of them are-
The housing market in each state is different. When you move to a new state and try to buy or rent a home, you might get shocked by how much it costs. Make sure you do your homework to find out how much homes cost in the area you’re moving to.
The Cost of Living
Once you know how much your housing will cost, think about how much groceries, gas, utilities, and other costs will cost in your new state. These kinds of costs can vary a lot from one state to the next. It’s important to take them into account when figuring out how much your new cost of living will be.
Medical care costs
When you move to a new state, you’ll need a new doctor and a new dentist (among other healthcare providers). Do your research on the health care system in the new area. Find out how much insurance coverage usually costs in the new state. Try to get an idea of doctors’ prices and quality by doing research online.
You can find a lot of helpful reviews and resources online. Also, you can ask family and friends in your new area for recommendations and advice.
Finding new things to do in a new city is important and fun. Food, art, music, and sports are all important. You can also check out sites like MeetUp and Eventbrite. See if there are any events that fit your specific interests.
How to Get a job in the state
If you move to a new place, it’s important to take your job with you. Different cities have different job markets and opportunities. If you don’t already have a job, check out a few job posting and employment sites. Do this before you move to see what the market is like.
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People often forget about transport. However, it’s a big cost that should considered. Some cities’ public transportation systems are better than others. In many parts of the country, you’ll need a car to get around. You’ll also need to think about how you’ll get to and from work and how that will affect your budget as a whole.
If you want to go to school or go back to school, you might want to move to a state with a good education system. This will also help if you decide to start a family. Remember you’ll probably want your kids to go to a good school district.
The weather can affect not only your mood, lifestyle, and social plans, but also your utility bills. Don’t forget to look up the average temperatures for each season. Make sure you’re ready for weather changes and the heating or cooling costs that come with them.
Tax laws can be very different from one state to the next, which can have a big effect on your pay. You don’t want to get surprised when you get paid or when it’s time to file your taxes. Learn about the income tax, property tax, and sales tax rules in your new state.
The U.S. Census Bureau has data on demographics, such as the age ranges for each state. If you’re thinking about moving, it might be a good idea to go somewhere where you can meet people with similar interests. Also consider making friends who can help you get used to your new home.
Other factors you may consider are-
- Average rent
- Living expenses
- Average entry-level salary
- The number of job ads
- Number of people between the ages of 25 and 34
- Different races and cultures
- Equality for women
- Adults in the country that have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Fun (entertainment, recreation, and attractions in the state)
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Why Should College Students look out for the Best Places to Live After College
#1. A chance to start fresh
When people live in the same place for a few years, they develop habits. They know the streets, the stores, the people, and most importantly, the people know them. When people get tired of how others see you, you may want a fresh start. You may also want to meet new people and try new things, and the city is the best place to do both of those things.
Starting over in a new city gives you the chance to change yourself, and now is the best time to do it.
#2. Moving to a different city can help your career.
Most of the time, moving to a new city means more jobs. You to get better at what you do and interview for jobs that pay more.
But if you choose to live in the middle of the city, your living costs will be higher. You can always find places to live that are cheaper than where you work. This includes people who live in New Jersey but go to work in New York.
If you want to move up in your career, it’s important to remember that moving to a new city can help a lot. It gives people not only new job opportunities but also more chances to meet new people. How well you know someone can make or break a job interview these days.
#3. Moving to a new city makes you more self-reliant.
When moving out, it’s normal to want a place that feels like home. When you move to a whole new city where you don’t know anyone, it can be hard to get used to your new surroundings. This kind of obstacle will teach you a lot about who you are and what you’re made of. When you start a new part of your life in a completely new place, it will make you feel strong.
#4. Moving to a new city will help you see more of the world.
When you step outside of your comfort zone, your whole view of life will change. All of the things you did in your old town will feel new and different in your new one. You will also meet new people as a result of these things.
When you move to a new city, you will learn about different ways of life. Most cities are places where people from all over the world come together. You will try new foods, listen to new music, and wear new styles of clothes that you have never seen before. You might even start to change as you meet different kinds of people and go through these kinds of things.
#5. Moving to a new city will help you change and become a better person.
When you move to a new city, it’s almost like going back to college. Everything will have to detangle out as you go. Just as college helped you become who you are now, so will this new city.
It will be hard at first, but the process of getting used to your new city will help you grow as a person. Don’t let your fear of trying something new keep you from trying something new in life.
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How To Move To A New City Without A Hitch
#1. Stay in touch with reality.
If you think you’re ready to move, have you thought about how life would be in a different place? Can you live the same way in the new city without any trouble? You should think about the most important parts of your life that you want to bring with you to your new home. Make a list and rate the different categories to get a realistic picture of how your life might change in a new place.
#2. Get used to moving around.
There are many reasons to move, and all of them could be due to things you can’t change. If the situation around the move is stressful, the move itself could be stressful as well. Looking at the good things about the move will help you get back in charge.
Also, every day, talk about the good things about your move. You can get used to the idea of moving by reading books and watching shows about it, like HGTV’s Property Virgins. Whether you decide to move or not, you know you did your best to talk about the possibility of moving.
#3. Pack to help you unwind
When you’re packing, you might think about both your old home and your new one. You think about where your couch could go or which wall your favorite painting would look best on. Getting interested and excited about the details of packing can be a great way to take your mind off of feeling stressed. Think about how your things will look in your new home as you pack.
#4. Set up a budget
If you make a budget before you move and hire a mover with experience, it will be less stressful. Money and how you spend it can be a source of stress. Make sure you have a detailed list of all the expected and unexpected costs of moving.
#5. Balance feelings of stress
Think about the good things about your possible move. Here are some ideas on how to find a good balance:
- Write things down. This will give you a place to talk about and write down any worries or worries that come up during the moving process. Writing in a journal can help you deal with the stress of an upcoming move.
- Keep a picture of a home you might want to buy. Having a picture of a home you like with you can help you get used to the idea of moving.
- Get a jump on things. Look around your new neighborhood and write down any places like restaurants, shopping centers, or gyms that you want to remember to visit.
- Look into your moving company. Check out the Better Business Bureau and customer reviews to learn more about your mover. This will make you more sure that you want to hire them.
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Top 15 Best places to live after college in 2022
#1. Cincinnati, OH
For the fourth year in a row, Cincinnati is the best city for recent college graduates. This city of 302,000 people has the fourth-best score for fun and the fifth-best score for affordability. Cincinnati has the fourth-highest average Yelp score for bars. It is the tenth-highest average Yelp score for restaurants.
Cincinnati also has the sixth-lowest median rent ($635) and the seventh-lowest cost of living ($22,721). This includes the cost of food, housing, transportation, medical care, and other needs. Also, 19.69% of the population is between the ages of 20 and 29. It is the 15th highest of all the countries we looked at.
Cincinnati is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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#2. Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the second-best city for new college graduates. It is home to Ohio State University. The city has the second-highest overall fun score, and its average Yelp bar score and average Yelp restaurant score are both in the top ten (ninth).
People in their 20s make up 19.63% of the population in Columbus. It is the 17th-highest percentage we looked at. The city also has the 24th most job listings on Indeed. It also looks at the 7th lowest unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees (3,831).
Columbus, Ohio is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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#3. St. Louis, MO
The average Yelp scores for bars and restaurants in St. Louis were among the top 15 in our study. This is a big reason why it has the sixth-highest fun score. The city is also one of the most affordable places we looked at.
The cost of living in St. Louis is $23,462 and the median rent is $659, which is ninth lowest (18th-lowest). It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#4. Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee has the 20th-lowest cost of living ($23,475) and the 17th-lowest rent ($727). Milwaukee bars also have the 13th-highest average score on Yelp. Restaurants and entertainment places make up 10.67% of all businesses. It ranks 30th out of 113 cities we looked at. Milwaukee WI is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#5. Madison, Wisconsin
The main campus of the University of Wisconsin is in Madison. It ranked third for fun and seventh for jobs. This shows it is one of the best places to live after college in 2022. The city of 258,000 people has the highest number of people between the ages of 20 and 29 (26.60%). The lowest rate of unemployment for people with bachelor’s degrees (1.4%). At 2.3%, Madison’s unemployment rate is also the third lowest in the country.
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#6. Indianapolis, IN
On Yelp, Indianapolis has the second-highest average score for bars. It also has the fourth-highest average score for restaurants. The average rent in Indianapolis is $734 per month, which is 19th lowest in our study. People with bachelor’s degrees have the 21st lowest unemployment rate in the city (2.3%). It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#7. Lexington, Kentucky
Overall, Lexington, Kentucky ranks 20th for how cheap it is and 21st for how fun it is. The city has the sixth-highest average Yelp restaurant score. It has the 13th-lowest cost of living ($23,163). It is home to the University of Kentucky. About 322,000 people live in the city, and 18.61 percent of them are between 20 and 29 years old (the 22nd-highest). Lexington is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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#8. Nashville, Tennessee
Out of the 113 cities we looked at, Nashville, Tennessee has the fifth-highest fun score. 13.52% of all businesses in the area are places to eat or have fun. This is the sixth most of any type of business in the study.
Nashville is home to Vanderbilt University. Its unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees is the 16th lowest in the country. It is currently at 2.2 percent%. Nashville is no doubt, one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#9. Pittsburgh, PA
23.45% of the people in Pittsburgh are between 20 and 29 years old. This puts the city in fourth place for the number of people in their 20s. The city has the 19th lowest cost of living ($23,463). It also has the 22nd most Indeed job listings. It is home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (4,110). It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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#10. Birmingham, AL
Birmingham has the fifth-lowest median rent of the 113 cities we looked at, at $631 per month. The average Yelp score for restaurants in the city is sixth. Its average Yelp score for bars is at eleven. As of March 2022, only 2.5% of workers in Birmingham were out of work, which was the 12th-lowest rate in the country. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#11. Jacksonville, Florida
Many people think that Jacksonville, like many other big cities in Florida, is a good place to live. They are right. In the SurveyMonkey poll about where people would like to live in the U.S. if they had a choice, Jacksonville got ranked 13th out of 150 metro areas.
Even though a lot of people are moving to Jacksonville, it is not growing as fast as other parts of Florida. The U.S. Census Bureau says that migration will cause the population of the Jacksonville metro area to grow by 6.78%. This would provide room for high employment and more collaboration. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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#12. Melbourne, Florida
This year, Melbourne comes in at No.12 on the list of Best Places to Live. This is mostly because net migration has caused its population to grow quickly. The U.S. Census Bureau says that net migration will cause the Melbourne metro area to grow by 8.14%.
Data from the U.S. News Best High Schools ranking, high school students in the Melbourne metro area are 19th out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. The average annual salary in Melbourne, Florida is $77,210, and there are 6,250,309 people living there. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
#13. Portland, Oregon
The median home price in the Portland, Oregon, metro area is $515,360. The average annual salary is $61,860. This year, Portland went from #22 to #13. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
People who live in the Portland area say they’re pretty happy there. The Sharecare Community Well-Being Index ranks the Rose City’s metro area No. 13 out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S.
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#14. Albany, New York
880,766 people live in the metro area of Albany, New York, and the average annual salary is $58,880. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022. Even though New York City is the most populated metro area in the U.S., New York’s capital is more affordable, safer. It also has an average commute that is shorter.
The average morning commute for people in the Albany area takes only 23.3 minutes. Plus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report on the U.S. Air Quality Index shows that Albany has better air quality than 126 other large cities.
This year, the District of Columbia moves up nine spots to No. 19. Its job market has always been one of the best, and its high school students get high marks for being ready for college and overall happiness. The Sharecare Community Well-Being Index ranks Washington as the third best place to live out of the 150 cities with the most people in the United States, after San Francisco and San Jose, California. Washington has the second-best job market in the U.S., after San Jose, because unemployment is low compared to the rest of the country and the average annual salary is $77,210.
#15. Salt Lake City
People living in the Salt Lake City metro area number 2,522,034, and the average annual salary is $52,094. Salt Lake City gets high marks for how affordable housing is. This is when compared to the area’s median household income. It has low crime rate, short commute, and residents’ sense of well-being.
The Sharecare Community Well-Being Index asks people all over the U.S. how happy they are overall. They were also asked how safe they feel, and how proud they are of where they live. Based on the well-being index, Salt Lake City is the 25th best place to live out of 150 metro areas on the Best Places to Live list. It is one of the best places to live after college in 2022.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Raleigh, North Carolina, is at the top of our list. As one of the most important parts of the Research Triangle, the city continues to draw young workers and big companies to the Tar Heel State.
- Get a job
- Have fun
- Live your life to the fullest
- North Carolina
- Michigan, and
- Washington, D.C.
- Cincinnati, OH
- Columbus, Ohio
- St. Louis, MO
- Milwaukee, WI
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Indianapolis, IN
- Lexington, Kentucky
Boulder, Colorado. U.S. News & World Report says that Boulder, Colorado will still be the best place to live in America in 2021 and 2022.
Now that you’re almost done with college, here are a few tips to help you move into life after college.
- Build your network.
- Use job fairs and the Career Center to your advantage.
- Find a mentor.
- Clean up your social media presence.
- Start looking for a job.
- Make your credit look better.
- Find out about your options for paying back student loans.
For someone who just finished college, the time afterward can be a very exciting time. You may start working, take on new responsibilities, and maybe even move to a new city. A college degree can also pay off almost as soon as you get it.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that full-time workers between the ages of 22 and 27 with bachelor’s degrees made a median of $52,000 a year in 2021. Those with only a high school diploma made about $30,000.
Before you move to any of the best places to live after college in 2022, make sure you have enough money and a concrete plan.
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- cnbc.com– Most desired post-graduation locations
- moneytalksnews.com– Best places to move after college
- finance.yahoo.com– Best cities college grads 2022
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