Strong Towns

Young adults in their early 20s made just under $28,000 on average in 2017. For these newly-minted grown-ups, entry-level salaries barely cover rent in most major cities. On top of that, most college graduates are starting off their professional careers with thousands in student loans weighing them down.

These five cities can offer an affordable option for the young and mostly broke to get out of their parents’ basements and living on their own.

Durham, North Carolina

With pharmaceutical, medical and technology jobs popping up in the area’s famous Research Triangle Park, Durham, North Carolina offers many stable jobs for young professionals fresh out of school. To make things even better, the median rent is under $1000 and prices of goods and services is 4.5% less than the national average. In addition, the city is flooded with young adults due to the many surrounding universities.

Syracuse, New York

This cold city has a low average rental price tag of $790. The city in upstate New York does offer some great suburbs, just 20 minutes outside of the downtown area. With plenty to do and proximity to New York City and New York’s wine region, young professionals find Syracuse to be a great and affordable place to live.

Dayton, Ohio

With the lowest median rent at $761 and low state income taxes, young adults get the most bang for their buck in Dayton, Ohio. The city also boasts 19 pizza places for every 100,000 residents, offering young professionals options for cheap eats. Dayton also offers more than 20 parks in the metropolitan region and 330 miles of bike trails for those looking to spend time outdoors.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Over 10% of the population in Grand Rapids, Michigan is between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. The culture in this Midwest city had been sculpted by young adults and college students. Grand Rapids strongly supports the LGBT community and the arts, as well as hosting some of the best craft breweries.

Madison, Wisconsin

Coming in at number one on the list of best places to live for young adults, this beer-drinking, cheese-eating city offers the lowest youth unemployment rate at 6.6%. With rent at just $950 on average and an overall low cost of living, the city also has the highest percentage of young people with a college education. To top it off, Madison has excellent public transportation and quick commutes.