These are the 10 best cities for new college graduates—New York City didn't make the list

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Zumper ranked the best cities for college graduates in a 2024 study.

The class of 2024 is facing many challenges going into the workforce this year. Entry-level jobs are increasingly more competitive and hiring has decreased around the U.S.

Recent graduates will also have to choose where to start their post-collegiate journey. A new study from Zumper analyzed the top 100 U.S. cities using seven key metrics to determine the best place for new college grads:

  1. Median 1-bedroom rent from
  2. Population of 18-34-year-olds (for highest concentration of 'young people') from American Community Survey 2019
  3. Population of 25-year-olds with Bachelor's degrees from American Community Survey 2020
  4. Median income of 25-year-olds and younger from American Community Survey 2020
  5. Non-married population from American Community Survey 2020
  6. Restaurants per 100 thousand people from OpenStreetMap API
  7. Unemployment rate from American Community Survey 2020

Each city received a ranking and a weighted score for each metric from A to F or 1-100.

The Zumper study found that San Francisco, offered the highest earning potential for new grads, while Laredo, Texas, ranked as the worst overall city for recent college grads.

Laredo, Texas, ranked in the bottom spot despite scoring well in median rent prices and unemployment rate because the overall median income, volume of restaurants, and young people with a bachelor's degree weren't enough.

One major city that didn't make Zumper's top 10 is New York City. It landed in the No. 26 spot thanks to low scores in the median 1-bedroom rent. It did score well, though, in the metric of the population for 18-34 years and the population of 25-year-olds with Bachelor's degrees.

New York City also had the No. 1 highest concentration of young people, with Los Angeles ranking at No. 2.

The No. 1 city for new college grads: Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is the best city for new college graduates, according to Zumper's report.

"The Twin Cities is a desirable location for emerging leaders to enter the workforce while maintaining a lower cost of living," the report states.

The city received "B's" for affordable rent and median income and an "A" for low unemployment rate. Minneapolis also received an "A" for restaurants per capita.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota ranked as the best city for college graduates, according to a 2024 Zumper study.

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 report.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is also home to the headquarters of over a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Target and General Mills.

10 best cities for new college graduates

  1. Minneapolis, Minn.
  2. Denver, Colo.
  3. Seattle, Wash.
  4. Columbus, Ohio
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Phoenix, Ariz.
  7. Raleigh, N.C.
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Atlanta, Ga.
  10. Oklahoma City, Okla.

Denver is the second-best city for the class of 2024.

The Western city received "A" grades for low unemployment and high median earnings of 25-year-olds and younger.

Denver also received high marks for restaurants per capita. It scored lowest for the median rent price for 1-bedroom apartments, with an average rent of $1,740.

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Denver, Colorado ranked as the No. 2 best city for college graduates, according to Zumper.

The Denver-Boulder metro region in Colorado has seen a rise in its technology industry since companies started leaving Silicon Valley after the covid-19 pandemic.

The city is home to startups, and tech giants like Google, Salesforce, and Amazon have major presences there now.

CNBC's Cities of Success reports that over the last five years, about $17 billion in VC funding has poured into the area, according to research firm CB Insights.

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