The best and worst states for Millennials

Millennial unemployment rate, cost of living, home ownership, average Starbucks latte price, education and health factors were all considered.

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With millennials being the largest generation in the U.S. workforce today, some places are better places for them to flock to than others. WalletHub did a report on the Best & Worst States for Millennials, based on 36 key factors, including the share of millennials in each state, average monthly earnings, Millennial unemployment rate, cost of living, home ownership, average Starbucks latte price, education and health factors, and more.

The winner? Massachusetts.


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Some facts about the top 10 states for Millennials:

  • Massachusetts excelled at high earnings for Millennials and the availability of entry-level jobs. Its weakness includes low homeownership at a rate of 19.2%. (The highest Millennial homeownership rate is Delaware, at 50.5%).
  • The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of Millennials at 34.6%, and California isn’t too far behind it. (The state with the lowest share of Millennials is Maine, with 20%).
  • The District of Columbia, at #2, has the highest average monthly earnings for millennials, $5,253. That’s  2.1 times higher than in Mississippi, the lowest at $2,514.
  • Iowa, #7 on the list, has the lowest housing costs for Millennials, and the state also has among the lowest Millennial unemployment rate. Other states that are the best for Millennials also have the highest housing costs, such as Massachusetts and California.

Best states for Millennials

1. Massachusetts

2. District of Columbia

3. Washington

4. Minnesota

5. Wisconsin

6. Colorado

7. Iowa

8. Utah

9. Pennsylvania

10. California

As for the worst places for Millennials, mostly Southern states populate the list. Although West Virginia, which is dead last on the list, has the lowest housing costs for Millennials, it still doesn’t seem to be a draw – they also have among the lowest percentage of Millennials in any state, perhaps because of the third-highest unemployment rate. Alabama, New Mexico, and Mississippi, also on the worst-of list, also have among the highest Millennial unemployment rates.

Worst States for Millennials

42. Alabama

43. South Carolina

44. Kentucky

45. Nevada

46. Arkansas

47. Louisiana

48. Oklahoma

49. Mississippi

50. New Mexico

51. West Virginia


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.