The 10 Best-Paying Cities for Young Workers [Aged 16-24]

Niles-Benton Harbor, Michigan, is the No. 1 smallest metro on our list of the best-paying cities for young workers with an adjusted median income of $36,240. The No. 1 midsize metro on our list is Akron, Ohio, with an adjusted median income of $33,186. For the top 10 large metros in our list, the average adjusted salary for workers 24 years old or younger is $30,372.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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UPDATED: Feb 8, 2021

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Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, and the oldest members of Gen Z (post-millennials) have just reached working age. This influx of younger generations into the workforce has sparked new employment trends, especially when it comes to worker mobility. This article is about the 10 best-paying cities for young workers.

Luckily for this new wave of workers, it’s a job seeker’s market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the unemployment rate among young people has been steadily declining since 2010, the height of the Great Recession. Among 16- to 24-year-olds, the unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2019 was 8.3 percent (down from 19 percent at the end of 2009). With the unemployment rate for young adults at a historic low, now is a great time to land a new job.

unemployment rates for young american workers

Even though young adults are major drivers of the labor force, their earnings tend to be low. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, people under age 25 earn significantly less than older, more experienced workers.

Nationwide, workers under age 25 earn a median salary of $25,700, roughly half of what workers ages 35-44, 45-54, and over 55 make. However, median salaries vary considerably across locations. Especially when accounting for the cost of living differences, some cities offer far more in compensation to those just starting out in their careers.

median income levels for different age groups

Although big cities have historically attracted droves of recent graduates, the high costs of living in places like New York City, Washington D.C, and San Francisco make it hard for young people to afford rent while also paying off student loans and enjoying the city life. Fortunately, there are alternatives with robust job markets, competitive wages, and lower living costs.

To find the best-paying metro areas for young people, researchers at  analyzed the latest earnings data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Median earnings for each metro were adjusted up or down based on the relative cost of living in that metro in order to get a comparable metric of purchasing power across locations.

In highly expensive cities, like New York, cost-of-living adjusted earnings are lower than actuals; whereas, in highly affordable cities, such as Knoxville, cost-of-living adjusted earnings are boosted up.

Only metro areas with over 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000-350,000
  • Midsize metros: 350,000-1,000,000
  • Large: more than 1,000,000

Overall, cities in the Midwest tend to pay young workers the highest wages when taking the cost of living into account. Here are the U.S. metro areas with the highest adjusted median earnings for full-time workers under the age of 25.

Small MetrosEarningsMidsize MetrosEarnings
1. Niles-Benton Harbor, Ml$36,2401. Akron, OH$33,186
2. Michigan City-La Porte, IN$35,8422. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA$33,155
3. Eau Claire, Wl$35,5163. Visalia-Porterville, CA$31,949
4. Midland, TX$34,8954. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$31,570
5. Mansfield, OH$34,8845. Fort Wayne, IN$31,425
6. Muskegon, Ml$34,4436. Reading, PA$31,088
7. Greenville, NC$34,1307. Kalamazoo-Portage, Ml$30,939
8. Rockford, IL$33,8988. Reno, NV$30,364
9. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA$33,8989. Lafayette, LA$29,680
10. Elkhart-Goshen, IN$33,55710. Eugene, OR$29,448
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In addition to the rankings in this article, we’ll cover the following topics in the frequently asked questions section:

  • The best cities for young professionals in 2020
  • The best places to live in your 20s
  • The best cities to make a living
  • The best places to run away to and start over

And before we jump into the ranking of the 10 best large metros for young workers, we know that if you’re here on this page, you’re likely interested in auto insurance as well.

You can head over to our best auto insurance companies page where we compare auto insurance companies from all around the country.

If you live in one of the best-paying cities for young workers and are ready to start searching for rates right away, just enter your ZIP code into our free online quote comparison tool. It’ll give you the best rates for your demographic information and area.

Now, let’s get to our ranking.

The 10 Best-Paying Large Metros for Young People

From Connecticut to Nebraska, here are your top 10.

#10 – Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $29,470
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $30,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $57,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 31.5%
  • Cost of living: 2% above average

Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is also known as the “Insurance Capital of the World.” Insurance giant Aetna is headquartered there while a number of other big insurance companies, including Prudential Financial, Lincoln National Corporation, and Travelers, also have operations in Hartford.

Plus, a new technology innovation hub—focusing on insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing—opened recently in Hartford that is expected to create 1,000 new jobs.

For entertainment, Hartford offers residents a plethora of activities such as the Connecticut Science Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and sporting events at the XL Center. Hartford is also conveniently located about two hours away from other large Northeast cities like New York and Boston.

Age is one of the biggest factors in determining auto insurance premiums, especially if you are getting auto insurance for a 16-year-old. Search auto insurance rates by zip code to see what you might pay.

#9 – Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $29,517
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $33,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $63,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 31.7%
  • Cost of living: 12% above average

The Boston metropolitan area is home to some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, and Wellesley College. The proximity to these world-class institutions has attracted a number of think tanks and nonprofits to the area. Many young people move to the Boston area for college and stay after graduation.

Even when adjusted for the city’s high cost of living, the median salary for young workers is still higher than the national median of $25,700. Besides plenty of well-paying jobs, young Boston residents enjoy the city’s museums, art galleries, restaurants, and professional sports.

#8 – Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $29,517
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $33,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $60,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 31.7%
  • Cost of living: 12% above average

The Pacific Northwest metropolitan area of Seattle is well known as a technology hub. While it has the highest cost of living of all the metros on this list (tied with Boston), the metro area attracts young people with plenty of high-paying jobs, especially in the tech sector. Washington also has no state income tax, which helps to offset the area’s high cost of living.

A number of Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, Starbucks, and Nordstrom, are headquartered in or near Seattle. In their spare time, young Seattle residents can visit art museums, hike in the nearby Cascade Mountains, and explore the city’s vibrant nightlife.

#7 – Cleveland-Elyria, OH

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $29,933
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $27,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $48,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 31.2%
  • Cost of living: 10% below average

Young people living in the Cleveland metro area have ample job opportunities in the healthcare and biotech sectors. Most notably, Cleveland is home to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the country’s best hospitals and the largest private employer in the city.

A number of biotech start-ups also call Cleveland home, and the city’s tech czar has been busy recruiting tech companies to downtown Cleveland.

Young professionals will also find it easier to pay off college debt here since Cleveland’s cost of living is 10 percent below the national average. Outside of the office, Cleveland residents can enjoy activities like visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, attending sporting events, and hiking through the Cleveland Metroparks.

Most states in the U.S. requires that drivers carry auto insurance. Luckily, government auto insurance is a state-sponsored option that helps lower-income families get the minimum insurance they need to drive. Learn more here: What is Government Auto Insurance

#6 – Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $30,090
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $30,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 31.6%
  • Cost of living: average

One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Providence was once a major manufacturing hub. Today the health care, education, financial, and tourism sectors have replaced manufacturing as the main drivers of the economy. The area’s colleges and universities (including Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design) attract a large student population, many of whom stay after graduation and find well-paying jobs. Young professionals living in Providence can enjoy Waterplace Park, try different restaurants on downtown’s Thayer Street, and explore numerous art galleries.

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#5 – Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $30,366
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $29,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 33.7%
  • Cost of living: 5% below average

A relatively low cost of living combined with plenty of high-earning jobs make Milwaukee an attractive place for young people to call home. Companies headquartered in the Milwaukee metro area include A.O. Smith, Harley-Davidson, and Kohl’s Department Stores.

While Milwaukee residents must brave the long, cold winters, they also embrace their summers, celebrating nearly every summer weekend with festivals and cultural events. Young Milwaukeeans can also take advantage of sailing, windsurfing, and kite surfing on Lake Michigan.

#4 – Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $30,435
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $28,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $46,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 35.0%
  • Cost of living: 8% below average

The Indianapolis metro area’s economy has shifted away from its manufacturing backbone as new sectors have established themselves. More specifically, Indy’s large population of young people can find well-paying jobs in the area of biotechnology, life sciences branch, and healthcare sectors.

Young Indy residents will also appreciate the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile pedestrian/bike path that connects downtown to other areas and provides easy access to restaurants, shops, and public art. An added bonus is that the dollar goes far in Indianapolis since the cost of living is 8 percent below the national average.

#3 – Pittsburgh, PA

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $30,851
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $29,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 28.7%
  • Cost of living: 6% below average

Pittsburgh boasts a cost of living that is 6 percent below the national average. Once known for coal and steel, the area’s economy is now driven by the technology, health care, finance, and education sectors. Young adults may first come to the area to attend one of several prominent universities (including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon), but well-paying jobs should entice many to stay and call Pittsburgh their permanent home. Outside of the office, Pittsburgh residents can explore the city’s many bridges, river sports, and museums.

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#2 – Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $31,111
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $28,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $48,000
  • Proportion of population under 25: 34.4%
  • Cost of living: 10% below average

Over one-third of Cincinnati’s population is under age 25. This large proportion of young people enjoy high median earnings and the cost of living well below the national average. Major industries in the region include healthcare, aviation, and education. There is no shortage of things to do, either. Cincinnati has a number of breweries, including Rhinegeist Brewery, MadTree Brewing, and Braxton Brewing Company. Residents of all ages can also enjoy free outdoor concerts and shows at Riverbend Music Center or the historic Music Hall.

#1 – Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (adjusted): $32,432
  • Median earnings for full-time workers under 25 (unadjusted): $30,000
  • Median earnings for all full-time workers (unadjusted): $45,800
  • Proportion of population under 25: 35.4%
  • Cost of living: 8% below average

The Omaha metro area claims the number one spot on the list of best-paying cities for young people, with an adjusted median income of $32,432 per year. A large number of young people call Omaha home—over 35 percent of the area’s population is under the age of 25.

The largest employers of the metro region are Offutt Air Force Base and Alegent Health. Several Fortune 500 companies, including Berkshire Hathaway and Union Pacific, are also headquartered in Omaha. This charming Midwest city offers numerous music venues, art museums, and trendy restaurants.

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Complete Rankings of 259 Metro Areas

Now, the moment you’ve probably been waiting for if your metro area hasn’t been featured in any of the lists above. We have four tables in this section:

  1. Large metros (53 surveyed)
  2. Midsize metros (83 surveyed)
  3. Small metros (122 surveyed)
  4. All metros (259 in total)

Let’s start with the large metros, as this was the sample set we used for our main ranking.

Large Metros

RankMetroAdjusted Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for All WorkersPopulation Under 25Cost of Living
1Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA$32,432$30,000$45,80035.4%-8%
2Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$31,111$28,000$48,00034.4%-10%
3Pittsburgh, PA$30,851$29,000$50,00028.7%-6%
4Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$30,435$28,000$46,00035.0%-8%
5Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI$30,366$29,000$50,00033.7%-5%
6Providence-Warwick, RI-MA$30,090$30,000$50,00031.6%Average
7Cleveland-Elyria, OH$29,933$27,000$48,00031.2%-10%
8Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$29,517$33,000$60,00031.7%+12%
9Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH$29,517$33,000$63,00031.7%+12%
10Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$29,470$30,000$57,00031.5%+2%
11Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN$29,381$28,000$43,10033.9%-5%
12Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN$29,373$26,700$45,00032.6%-9%
13Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$29,354$30,000$55,00033.6%+2%
14Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI$29,228$28,000$50,00032.2%-4%
15Raleigh, NC$29,106$28,000$51,00034.4%-4%
16Austin-Round Rock, TX$28,856$29,000$50,00034.7%+1%
17Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$28,463$30,000$55,00032.5%+5%
18Birmingham-Hoover, AL$28,153$25,000$44,00032.9%-11%
19Richmond, VA$28,096$27,000$48,00032.5%-4%
20Salt Lake City, UT$27,851$27,600$45,00038.9%-1%
21Rochester, NY$27,800$27,300$47,00032.3%-2%
22San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$27,502$36,000$76,00032.2%+31%
23Memphis, TN-MS-AR$27,442$25,000$40,00035.7%-9%
24Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY$27,397$26,000$45,00030.9%-5%
25St. Louis, MO-IL$27,352$25,000$48,00032.0%-9%
26San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$27,344$35,000$70,00029.2%+28%
27Kansas City, MO-KS$27,282$25,400$46,20034.3%-7%
28Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$27,281$29,000$51,00032.3%+6%
29Columbus, OH$27,086$25,000$49,80034.8%-8%
30Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$27,079$28,000$50,00033.6%+3%
31Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$26,652$25,000$45,00033.8%-6%
32Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$26,549$27,000$50,00031.3%+2%
33Tucson, AZ$26,288$25,000$40,00034.6%-5%
34New Orleans-Metairie, LA$26,261$25,000$43,00032.4%-5%
35Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ$26,203$25,600$45,00034.9%-2%
36Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$25,845$30,600$65,00033.3%+18%
37Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA$25,826$25,000$47,00035.4%-3%
38Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV$25,744$25,100$40,00033.4%-3%
39Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$25,432$25,000$40,00033.9%-2%
40San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$25,424$24,000$40,00037.2%-6%
41Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$25,278$25,000$41,00029.3%-1%
42Oklahoma City, OK$25,164$23,000$42,00036.1%-9%
43Jacksonville, FL$25,157$24,000$42,00032.9%-5%
44Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$24,950$25,000$48,00036.9%Average
45Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD$24,627$26,400$57,00032.2%+7%
46Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$24,590$24,000$45,00035.2%-2%
47Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$24,582$25,000$48,00037.4%+2%
48New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$24,530$30,000$55,00031.9%+22%
49Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA$24,510$25,000$50,00034.1%+2%
50Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL$23,063$25,000$40,00029.9%+8%
51Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$22,388$24,000$43,00037.7%+7%
52Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$22,203$26,000$45,50033.3%+17%
53San Diego-Carlsbad, CA$21,552$25,000$50,00034.2%+16%
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Midsize Metros

RankMetroAdjusted Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for All WorkersPopulation Under 25Cost of Living
1Akron, OH$33,186$30,000$45,00032.5%-10%
2Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA$33,155$31,000$50,00035.3%-7%
3Visalia-Porterville, CA$31,949$30,000$37,00042.6%-6%
4Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$31,570$37,600$62,00033.1%+19%
5Fort Wayne, IN$31,425$28,000$40,00036.3%-11%
6Reading, PA$31,088$30,000$46,00033.4%-4%
7Kalamazoo-Portage, MI$30,939$28,000$45,00037.2%-10%
8Reno, NV$30,364$30,000$45,00032.1%-1%
9Lafayette, LA$29,680$26,000$40,00035.7%-12%
10Eugene, OR$29,448$28,800$41,00032.4%-2%
11Springfield, MA$29,424$28,600$50,00032.6%-3%
12Chattanooga, TN-GA$29,195$26,100$41,00031.7%-11%
13Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI$29,126$27,000$45,00036.1%-7%
14Wichita, KS$29,115$26,000$40,20036.5%-11%
15Worcester, MA-CT$28,958$30,000$55,00031.9%+4%
16Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC$28,921$26,000$40,00033.5%-10%
17Syracuse, NY$28,836$28,000$46,00034.1%-3%
18Mobile, AL$28,802$25,000$40,00034.7%-13%
19Springfield, MO$28,736$25,000$38,00035.8%-13%
20Canton-Massillon, OH$28,637$25,000$41,00031.4%-13%
21Toledo, OH$28,506$25,000$45,00034.6%-12%
22Salisbury, MD-DE$28,249$25,000$43,80029.1%-12%
23Winston-Salem, NC$28,185$25,000$40,00032.7%-11%
24Stockton-Lodi, CA$28,141$28,000$45,00038.7%Average
25Dayton, OH$28,090$25,000$45,00032.9%-11%
26Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$27,964$25,000$40,00038.9%-11%
27Jackson, MS$27,716$25,000$40,00035.6%-10%
28Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR$27,594$25,000$41,00035.1%-9%
29Ogden-Clearfield, UT$27,513$26,000$48,00041.4%-6%
30Montgomery, AL$27,497$24,500$40,00034.5%-11%
31Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA$27,027$25,000$40,00030.6%-8%
32Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC$26,975$23,900$40,00035.1%-11%
33Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL$26,882$25,000$35,00032.0%-7%
34Anchorage, AK$26,877$29,000$54,00036.0%+8%
35Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX$26,786$24,000$43,00035.1%-10%
36Ocala, FL$26,519$24,000$36,00026.8%-10%
37Columbia, SC$26,172$24,000$40,00035.7%-8%
38Lancaster, PA$26,052$26,000$46,00034.3%Average
39Baton Rouge, LA$25,918$24,000$48,00037.0%-7%
40Knoxville, TN$25,901$23,000$40,00032.0%-11%
41York-Hanover, PA$25,880$25,000$48,00031.3%-3%
42Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY$25,845$26,000$52,00032.6%+1%
43Boise City, ID$25,478$24,000$40,00035.6%-6%
44Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC$25,375$22,000$36,00030.7%-13%
45Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA$25,316$24,000$45,00032.7%-5%
46New Haven-Milford, CT$25,271$28,000$55,00031.8%+11%
47Modesto, CA$25,178$24,700$44,10038.4%-2%
48Colorado Springs, CO$25,100$25,000$45,00036.4%Average
49Albuquerque, NM$25,078$24,000$41,00033.2%-4%
50Fresno, CA$25,078$24,000$40,00040.1%-4%
51North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL$25,025$25,000$40,00023.7%Average
52Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$25,000$30,000$54,00033.0%+20%
53Charleston-North Charleston, SC$24,948$24,000$44,00032.2%-4%
54Provo-Orem, UT$24,768$24,000$46,00052.2%-3%
55Lansing-East Lansing, MI$24,756$22,800$45,00037.5%-8%
56El Paso, TX$24,691$22,000$35,00040.5%-11%
57Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL$24,582$25,000$40,00024.8%+2%
58Huntsville, AL$24,472$22,000$49,00033.3%-10%
59Ann Arbor, MI$24,287$24,700$55,00039.0%+2%
60Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL$24,134$23,000$37,00026.6%-5%
61Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL$23,681$22,900$38,00026.2%-3%
62Santa Rosa, CA$23,563$29,100$52,00028.9%+24%
63Portland-South Portland, ME$23,460$24,000$50,00028.3%+2%
64Greensboro-High Point, NC$23,411$21,000$40,00033.1%-10%
65Corpus Christi, TX$23,241$21,800$40,00035.0%-6%
66Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$23,095$20,000$40,00030.0%-13%
67Manchester-Nashua, NH$23,063$25,000$52,00030.0%+8%
68Salinas, CA$23,041$25,000$45,00038.0%+9%
69Brownsville-Harlingen, TX$22,967$19,200$30,00042.8%-16%
70Bakersfield, CA$22,917$22,000$40,00040.8%-4%
71Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ$22,863$23,000$48,00031.3%+1%
72Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$22,810$25,000$45,00039.8%+10%
73Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA$22,704$22,000$48,50031.6%-3%
74McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$22,619$19,000$30,30045.5%-16%
75Shreveport-Bossier City, LA$22,548$20,000$35,00034.9%-11%
76Asheville, NC$22,462$20,800$37,40027.7%-7%
77Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$22,203$26,000$50,00034.4%+17%
78Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL$21,898$21,000$42,00027.5%-4%
79Port St. Lucie, FL$21,649$21,000$40,00027.9%-3%
80Trenton, NJ$21,505$24,000$56,00034.2%+12%
81Urban Honolulu, HI$21,411$26,700$48,00031.9%+25%
82Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC$19,587$18,000$35,00025.5%-8%
83Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL$19,502$18,000$39,00033.0%-8%
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Small Metros

RankMetroAdjusted Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for All WorkersPopulation Under 25Cost of Living
1Niles-Benton Harbor, MI$36,240$32,000$40,00031.0%-12%
2Michigan City-La Porte, IN$35,842$30,000$40,00030.3%-16%
3Eau Claire, WI$35,516$32,000$45,00035.5%-10%
4Midland, TX$34,895$35,000$55,00039.0%Average
5Mansfield, OH$34,884$30,000$40,00031.0%-14%
6Muskegon, MI$34,443$30,000$42,00033.2%-13%
7Greenville, NC$34,130$30,000$40,00041.9%-12%
8Rockford, IL$33,898$30,000$45,00032.4%-12%
9Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA$33,898$30,000$45,00041.8%-12%
10Elkhart-Goshen, IN$33,557$30,000$45,00038.2%-11%
11Lima, OH$32,710$28,000$42,00034.5%-14%
12Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL$31,840$27,000$37,50032.9%-15%
13Iowa City, IA$31,813$30,000$52,00043.6%-6%
14Lincoln, NE$31,694$29,000$42,00039.3%-9%
15Topeka, KS$31,603$28,000$42,00033.3%-11%
16Norwich-New London, CT$31,434$32,000$58,00031.2%+2%
17Saginaw, MI$31,321$27,500$43,50030.8%-12%
18Lynchburg, VA$31,285$28,000$40,40034.1%-11%
19Jefferson City, MO$30,703$24,900$40,00033.2%-19%
20Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL$30,501$28,000$33,70024.3%-8%
21La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN$30,468$28,000$41,00037.1%-8%
22Jackson, TN$30,414$25,000$35,00035.9%-18%
23Bellingham, WA$30,364$30,000$50,00035.0%-1%
24Yuba City, CA$30,021$29,000$45,00036.4%-3%
25Springfield, OH$29,988$26,000$42,00033.0%-13%
26Roanoke, VA$29,967$27,000$44,00029.0%-10%
27Pittsfield, MA$29,683$29,000$47,00027.8%-2%
28Rocky Mount, NC$29,586$25,000$40,00032.8%-16%
29Monroe, LA$29,577$25,200$36,00036.9%-15%
30Lawrence, KS$29,508$27,000$47,00041.5%-9%
31Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS$29,345$26,000$37,00035.7%-11%
32Muncie, IN$29,070$25,000$42,00039.6%-14%
33Amarillo, TX$28,939$27,000$39,40036.2%-7%
34Johnstown, PA$28,835$25,000$40,00029.1%-13%
35Columbia, MO$28,793$26,000$42,00041.0%-10%
36Barnstable Town, MA$28,653$30,000$55,00023.7%+5%
37Monroe, MI$28,448$26,400$50,00030.1%-7%
38Sheboygan, WI$28,396$25,500$39,00031.8%-10%
39Harrisonburg, VA$28,217$25,000$41,00041.1%-11%
40Jackson, MI$28,185$25,000$40,00031.2%-11%
41Decatur, IL$28,103$24,000$44,00033.6%-15%
42Wichita Falls, TX$28,090$25,000$35,00038.8%-11%
43Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN$28,053$25,500$44,50046.9%-9%
44Charleston, WV$27,842$24,000$41,80029.7%-14%
45Utica-Rome, NY$27,807$26,000$40,00032.3%-7%
46Clarksville, TN-KY$27,716$25,000$37,00040.0%-10%
47Janesville-Beloit, WI$27,716$25,000$43,00033.9%-10%
48Lebanon, PA$27,662$26,500$42,00032.3%-4%
49Morgantown, WV$27,563$25,000$41,00037.1%-9%
50St. George, UT$27,368$26,000$38,00036.6%-5%
51Olympia-Tumwater, WA$27,264$29,200$52,00031.9%+7%
52Ithaca, NY$26,822$28,700$49,50043.0%+7%
53Dover, DE$26,795$25,000$40,00035.3%-7%
54College Station-Bryan, TX$26,795$25,000$40,00048.7%-7%
55St. Joseph, MO-KS$26,775$23,000$40,00032.5%-14%
56Houma-Thibodaux, LA$26,608$24,000$45,00035.1%-10%
57Goldsboro, NC$26,498$23,000$33,00035.3%-13%
58Kankakee, IL$26,316$25,000$42,00034.1%-5%
59Ocean City, NJ$26,316$27,500$55,00026.7%+5%
60State College, PA$26,265$27,000$47,00041.6%+3%
61Gainesville, GA$25,989$23,000$37,10036.8%-12%
62Redding, CA$25,907$25,000$42,00030.3%-4%
63Napa, CA$25,890$32,000$55,00031.0%+24%
64Yakima, WA$25,890$24,000$38,00040.8%-7%
65Wilmington, NC$25,862$24,000$42,00032.0%-7%
66East Stroudsburg, PA$25,800$25,000$45,00031.4%-3%
67Champaign-Urbana, IL$25,779$24,000$46,00044.4%-7%
68Glens Falls, NY$25,720$25,000$45,00027.4%-3%
69Burlington-South Burlington, VT$25,714$27,000$49,70034.0%+5%
70Fort Collins, CO$25,611$26,200$50,00035.9%+2%
71Merced, CA$25,586$24,000$38,00042.4%-6%
72Springfield, IL$25,584$23,000$47,00032.5%-10%
73Fayetteville, NC$25,561$22,800$33,00039.9%-11%
74Oshkosh-Neenah, WI$25,499$23,000$40,90034.4%-10%
75Wausau, WI$25,471$23,000$42,00030.9%-10%
76Pueblo, CO$25,439$23,200$40,00032.8%-9%
77Medford, OR$25,336$24,500$40,00030.6%-3%
78Lewiston-Auburn, ME$25,290$24,000$40,00032.0%-5%
79Punta Gorda, FL$25,236$24,100$37,70017.6%-5%
80Waco, TX$25,082$22,900$38,00040.0%-9%
81Odessa, TX$25,052$24,000$45,00042.2%-4%
82Prescott, AZ$24,974$24,000$39,80023.5%-4%
83Bend-Redmond, OR$24,950$25,000$44,40028.2%Average
84Bloomington, IN$24,865$23,000$41,00043.9%-8%
85Yuma, AZ$24,862$22,500$35,00038.0%-10%
86Burlington, NC$24,467$21,800$40,00033.7%-11%
87Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC$24,262$23,000$35,00030.8%-5%
88Bremerton-Silverdale, WA$24,254$26,000$50,00032.3%+7%
89Owensboro, KY$24,205$21,300$40,00033.8%-12%
90Decatur, AL$24,038$20,000$36,00032.3%-17%
91Lubbock, TX$24,009$22,400$37,00042.9%-7%
92Joplin, MO$23,991$20,800$37,00034.2%-13%
93Binghamton, NY$23,884$23,000$45,00033.7%-4%
94Spartanburg, SC$23,756$21,000$40,00034.2%-12%
95El Centro, CA$23,490$21,000$40,00039.9%-11%
96Hanford-Corcoran, CA$23,429$22,000$37,00038.9%-6%
97Santa Fe, NM$23,303$23,000$40,00026.8%-1%
98Chico, CA$23,303$23,000$40,90035.8%-1%
99San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$23,277$25,000$53,00034.1%+7%
100Florence, SC$23,229$20,000$35,00033.2%-14%
101Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$22,727$29,000$58,00035.6%+28%
102Laredo, TX$22,624$20,000$31,00046.3%-12%
103Racine, WI$22,186$20,700$52,00033.1%-7%
104Grand Junction, CO$22,151$20,800$45,00034.2%-6%
105Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL$22,026$20,000$40,00030.5%-9%
106San Angelo, TX$21,949$20,500$35,00036.6%-7%
107Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ$21,930$20,000$35,00024.3%-9%
108Bloomington, IL$21,668$20,000$54,00040.1%-8%
109Erie, PA$21,575$20,000$42,00032.6%-7%
110Tyler, TX$21,277$20,000$40,00036.1%-6%
111Gainesville, FL$21,231$20,000$40,00041.2%-6%
112Coeur d'Alene, ID$21,164$20,000$40,00033.5%-6%
113Flagstaff, AZ$21,031$20,800$40,00042.3%-1%
114Wenatchee, WA$20,747$20,000$40,00035.4%-4%
115Homosassa Springs, FL$20,690$18,000$32,00020.7%-13%
116Tuscaloosa, AL$20,385$18,000$40,00038.2%-12%
117Auburn-Opelika, AL$20,261$17,100$36,00041.3%-16%
118Las Cruces, NM$20,067$18,000$33,00040.4%-10%
119Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ$19,608$20,000$45,00032.6%+2%
120Bangor, ME$19,418$18,700$41,00029.5%-4%
121Gadsden, AL$17,011$14,000$35,00030.6%-18%
122Madera, CA$16,967$16,000$38,00038.4%-6%
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All Metros

RankMetroAdjusted Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for Workers Under 25Earnings for All WorkersPopulation Under 25Cost of Living
1Niles-Benton Harbor, MI$36,240$32,000$40,00031.0%-12%
2Michigan City-La Porte, IN$35,842$30,000$40,00030.3%-16%
3Eau Claire, WI$35,516$32,000$45,00035.5%-10%
4Midland, TX$34,895$35,000$55,00039.0%Average
5Mansfield, OH$34,884$30,000$40,00031.0%-14%
6Muskegon, MI$34,443$30,000$42,00033.2%-13%
7Parkersburg-Vienna, WV$34,130$30,000$40,00029.4%-12%
8Greenville, NC$34,130$30,000$40,00041.9%-12%
9Rockford, IL$33,898$30,000$45,00032.4%-12%
10Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA$33,898$30,000$45,00041.8%-12%
11Elkhart-Goshen, IN$33,557$30,000$45,00038.2%-11%
12Akron, OH$33,186$30,000$45,00032.5%-10%
13Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA$33,155$31,000$50,00035.3%-7%
14Lima, OH$32,710$28,000$42,00034.5%-14%
15Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA$32,432$30,000$45,80035.4%-8%
16Visalia-Porterville, CA$31,949$30,000$37,00042.6%-6%
17Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL$31,840$27,000$37,50032.9%-15%
18Iowa City, IA$31,813$30,000$52,00043.6%-6%
19Lincoln, NE$31,694$29,000$42,00039.3%-9%
20Topeka, KS$31,603$28,000$42,00033.3%-11%
21Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$31,570$37,600$62,00033.1%+19%
22Norwich-New London, CT$31,434$32,000$58,00031.2%+2%
23Fort Wayne, IN$31,425$28,000$40,00036.3%-11%
24Saginaw, MI$31,321$27,500$43,50030.8%-12%
25Lynchburg, VA$31,285$28,000$40,40034.1%-11%
26Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$31,111$28,000$48,00034.4%-10%
27Reading, PA$31,088$30,000$46,00033.4%-4%
28Kalamazoo-Portage, MI$30,939$28,000$45,00037.2%-10%
29Pittsburgh, PA$30,851$29,000$50,00028.7%-6%
30Jefferson City, MO$30,703$24,900$40,00033.2%-19%
31Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL$30,501$28,000$33,70024.3%-8%
32La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN$30,468$28,000$41,00037.1%-8%
33Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$30,435$28,000$46,00035.0%-8%
34Jackson, TN$30,414$25,000$35,00035.9%-18%
35Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI$30,366$29,000$50,00033.7%-5%
36Bellingham, WA$30,364$30,000$50,00035.0%-1%
37Reno, NV$30,364$30,000$45,00032.1%-1%
38Providence-Warwick, RI-MA$30,090$30,000$50,00031.6%Average
39Yuba City, CA$30,021$29,000$45,00036.4%-3%
40Springfield, OH$29,988$26,000$42,00033.0%-13%
41Roanoke, VA$29,967$27,000$44,00029.0%-10%
42Cleveland-Elyria, OH$29,933$27,000$48,00031.2%-10%
43Pittsfield, MA$29,683$29,000$47,00027.8%-2%
44Lafayette, LA$29,680$26,000$40,00035.7%-12%
45Rocky Mount, NC$29,586$25,000$40,00032.8%-16%
46Monroe, LA$29,577$25,200$36,00036.9%-15%
47Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$29,517$33,000$60,00031.7%+12%
48Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH$29,517$33,000$63,00031.7%+12%
49Lawrence, KS$29,508$27,000$47,00041.5%-9%
50Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$29,470$30,000$57,00031.5%+2%
51Eugene, OR$29,448$28,800$41,00032.4%-2%
52Springfield, MA$29,424$28,600$50,00032.6%-3%
53Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN$29,381$28,000$43,10033.9%-5%
54Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN$29,373$26,700$45,00032.6%-9%
55Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$29,354$30,000$55,00033.6%+2%
56Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS$29,345$26,000$37,00035.7%-11%
57Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI$29,228$28,000$50,00032.2%-4%
58Chattanooga, TN-GA$29,195$26,100$41,00031.7%-11%
59Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI$29,126$27,000$45,00036.1%-7%
60Wichita, KS$29,115$26,000$40,20036.5%-11%
61Raleigh, NC$29,106$28,000$51,00034.4%-4%
62Muncie, IN$29,070$25,000$42,00039.6%-14%
63Worcester, MA-CT$28,958$30,000$55,00031.9%+4%
64Amarillo, TX$28,939$27,000$39,40036.2%-7%
65Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC$28,921$26,000$40,00033.5%-10%
66Austin-Round Rock, TX$28,856$29,000$50,00034.7%+1%
67Syracuse, NY$28,836$28,000$46,00034.1%-3%
68Johnstown, PA$28,835$25,000$40,00029.1%-13%
69Mobile, AL$28,802$25,000$40,00034.7%-13%
70Columbia, MO$28,793$26,000$42,00041.0%-10%
71Springfield, MO$28,736$25,000$38,00035.8%-13%
72Barnstable Town, MA$28,653$30,000$55,00023.7%+5%
73Canton-Massillon, OH$28,637$25,000$41,00031.4%-13%
74Toledo, OH$28,506$25,000$45,00034.6%-12%
75Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$28,463$30,000$55,00032.5%+5%
76Monroe, MI$28,448$26,400$50,00030.1%-7%
77Sheboygan, WI$28,396$25,500$39,00031.8%-10%
78Salisbury, MD-DE$28,249$25,000$43,80029.1%-12%
79Harrisonburg, VA$28,217$25,000$41,00041.1%-11%
80Winston-Salem, NC$28,185$25,000$40,00032.7%-11%
81Jackson, MI$28,185$25,000$40,00031.2%-11%
82Birmingham-Hoover, AL$28,153$25,000$44,00032.9%-11%
83Stockton-Lodi, CA$28,141$28,000$45,00038.7%Average
84Decatur, IL$28,103$24,000$44,00033.6%-15%
85Richmond, VA$28,096$27,000$48,00032.5%-4%
86Wichita Falls, TX$28,090$25,000$35,00038.8%-11%
87Dayton, OH$28,090$25,000$45,00032.9%-11%
88Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN$28,053$25,500$44,50046.9%-9%
89Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$27,964$25,000$40,00038.9%-11%
90Salt Lake City, UT$27,851$27,600$45,00038.9%-1%
91Charleston, WV$27,842$24,000$41,80029.7%-14%
92Utica-Rome, NY$27,807$26,000$40,00032.3%-7%
93Rochester, NY$27,800$27,300$47,00032.3%-2%
94Clarksville, TN-KY$27,716$25,000$37,00040.0%-10%
95Janesville-Beloit, WI$27,716$25,000$43,00033.9%-10%
96Jackson, MS$27,716$25,000$40,00035.6%-10%
97Lebanon, PA$27,662$26,500$42,00032.3%-4%
98Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR$27,594$25,000$41,00035.1%-9%
99Morgantown, WV$27,563$25,000$41,00037.1%-9%
100Ogden-Clearfield, UT$27,513$26,000$48,00041.4%-6%
101San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$27,502$36,000$76,00032.2%+31%
102Montgomery, AL$27,497$24,500$40,00034.5%-11%
103Memphis, TN-MS-AR$27,442$25,000$40,00035.7%-9%
104Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY$27,397$26,000$45,00030.9%-5%
105St. George, UT$27,368$26,000$38,00036.6%-5%
106St. Louis, MO-IL$27,352$25,000$48,00032.0%-9%
107San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$27,344$35,000$70,00029.2%+28%
108Kansas City, MO-KS$27,282$25,400$46,20034.3%-7%
109Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$27,281$29,000$51,00032.3%+6%
110Olympia-Tumwater, WA$27,264$29,200$52,00031.9%+7%
111Columbus, OH$27,086$25,000$49,80034.8%-8%
112Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$27,079$28,000$50,00033.6%+3%
113Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA$27,027$25,000$40,00030.6%-8%
114Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC$26,975$23,900$40,00035.1%-11%
115Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL$26,882$25,000$35,00032.0%-7%
116Anchorage, AK$26,877$29,000$54,00036.0%+8%
117Ithaca, NY$26,822$28,700$49,50043.0%+7%
118Dover, DE$26,795$25,000$40,00035.3%-7%
119College Station-Bryan, TX$26,795$25,000$40,00048.7%-7%
120Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX$26,786$24,000$43,00035.1%-10%
121St. Joseph, MO-KS$26,775$23,000$40,00032.5%-14%
122Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$26,652$25,000$45,00033.8%-6%
123Houma-Thibodaux, LA$26,608$24,000$45,00035.1%-10%
124Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$26,549$27,000$50,00031.3%+2%
125Ocala, FL$26,519$24,000$36,00026.8%-10%
126Goldsboro, NC$26,498$23,000$33,00035.3%-13%
127Kankakee, IL$26,316$25,000$42,00034.1%-5%
128Ocean City, NJ$26,316$27,500$55,00026.7%+5%
129Tucson, AZ$26,288$25,000$40,00034.6%-5%
130State College, PA$26,265$27,000$47,00041.6%+3%
131New Orleans-Metairie, LA$26,261$25,000$43,00032.4%-5%
132Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ$26,203$25,600$45,00034.9%-2%
133Columbia, SC$26,172$24,000$40,00035.7%-8%
134Lancaster, PA$26,052$26,000$46,00034.3%Average
135Gainesville, GA$25,989$23,000$37,10036.8%-12%
136Baton Rouge, LA$25,918$24,000$48,00037.0%-7%
137Redding, CA$25,907$25,000$42,00030.3%-4%
138Knoxville, TN$25,901$23,000$40,00032.0%-11%
139Napa, CA$25,890$32,000$55,00031.0%+24%
140Yakima, WA$25,890$24,000$38,00040.8%-7%
141York-Hanover, PA$25,880$25,000$48,00031.3%-3%
142Wilmington, NC$25,862$24,000$42,00032.0%-7%
143Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY$25,845$26,000$52,00032.6%+1%
144Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$25,845$30,600$65,00033.3%+18%
145Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA$25,826$25,000$47,00035.4%-3%
146East Stroudsburg, PA$25,800$25,000$45,00031.4%-3%
147Champaign-Urbana, IL$25,779$24,000$46,00044.4%-7%
148Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV$25,744$25,100$40,00033.4%-3%
149Glens Falls, NY$25,720$25,000$45,00027.4%-3%
150Burlington-South Burlington, VT$25,714$27,000$49,70034.0%+5%
151Fort Collins, CO$25,611$26,200$50,00035.9%+2%
152Merced, CA$25,586$24,000$38,00042.4%-6%
153Springfield, IL$25,584$23,000$47,00032.5%-10%
154Fayetteville, NC$25,561$22,800$33,00039.9%-11%
155Oshkosh-Neenah, WI$25,499$23,000$40,90034.4%-10%
156Boise City, ID$25,478$24,000$40,00035.6%-6%
157Wausau, WI$25,471$23,000$42,00030.9%-10%
158Pueblo, CO$25,439$23,200$40,00032.8%-9%
159Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$25,432$25,000$40,00033.9%-2%
160San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$25,424$24,000$40,00037.2%-6%
161Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC$25,375$22,000$36,00030.7%-13%
162Medford, OR$25,336$24,500$40,00030.6%-3%
163Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA$25,316$24,000$45,00032.7%-5%
164Lewiston-Auburn, ME$25,290$24,000$40,00032.0%-5%
165Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$25,278$25,000$41,00029.3%-1%
166New Haven-Milford, CT$25,271$28,000$55,00031.8%+11%
167Punta Gorda, FL$25,236$24,100$37,70017.6%-5%
168Modesto, CA$25,178$24,700$44,10038.4%-2%
169Oklahoma City, OK$25,164$23,000$42,00036.1%-9%
170Jacksonville, FL$25,157$24,000$42,00032.9%-5%
171Colorado Springs, CO$25,100$25,000$45,00036.4%Average
172Waco, TX$25,082$22,900$38,00040.0%-9%
173Albuquerque, NM$25,078$24,000$41,00033.2%-4%
174Fresno, CA$25,078$24,000$40,00040.1%-4%
175Odessa, TX$25,052$24,000$45,00042.2%-4%
176North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL$25,025$25,000$40,00023.7%Average
177Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$25,000$30,000$54,00033.0%+20%
178Prescott, AZ$24,974$24,000$39,80023.5%-4%
179Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$24,950$25,000$48,00036.9%Average
180Bend-Redmond, OR$24,950$25,000$44,40028.2%Average
181Charleston-North Charleston, SC$24,948$24,000$44,00032.2%-4%
182Bloomington, IN$24,865$23,000$41,00043.9%-8%
183Yuma, AZ$24,862$22,500$35,00038.0%-10%
184Provo-Orem, UT$24,768$24,000$46,00052.2%-3%
185Lansing-East Lansing, MI$24,756$22,800$45,00037.5%-8%
186El Paso, TX$24,691$22,000$35,00040.5%-11%
187Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD$24,627$26,400$57,00032.2%+7%
188Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$24,590$24,000$45,00035.2%-2%
189Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$24,582$25,000$48,00037.4%+2%
190Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL$24,582$25,000$40,00024.8%+2%
191New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$24,530$30,000$55,00031.9%+22%
192Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA$24,510$25,000$50,00034.1%+2%
193Huntsville, AL$24,472$22,000$49,00033.3%-10%
194Burlington, NC$24,467$21,800$40,00033.7%-11%
195Ann Arbor, MI$24,287$24,700$55,00039.0%+2%
196Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC$24,262$23,000$35,00030.8%-5%
197Bremerton-Silverdale, WA$24,254$26,000$50,00032.3%+7%
198Owensboro, KY$24,205$21,300$40,00033.8%-12%
199Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL$24,134$23,000$37,00026.6%-5%
200Decatur, AL$24,038$20,000$36,00032.3%-17%
201Lubbock, TX$24,009$22,400$37,00042.9%-7%
202Joplin, MO$23,991$20,800$37,00034.2%-13%
203Binghamton, NY$23,884$23,000$45,00033.7%-4%
204Spartanburg, SC$23,756$21,000$40,00034.2%-12%
205Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL$23,681$22,900$38,00026.2%-3%
206Santa Rosa, CA$23,563$29,100$52,00028.9%+24%
207El Centro, CA$23,490$21,000$40,00039.9%-11%
208Portland-South Portland, ME$23,460$24,000$50,00028.3%+2%
209Hanford-Corcoran, CA$23,429$22,000$37,00038.9%-6%
210Greensboro-High Point, NC$23,411$21,000$40,00033.1%-10%
211Santa Fe, NM$23,303$23,000$40,00026.8%-1%
212Chico, CA$23,303$23,000$40,90035.8%-1%
213San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$23,277$25,000$53,00034.1%+7%
214Corpus Christi, TX$23,241$21,800$40,00035.0%-6%
215Florence, SC$23,229$20,000$35,00033.2%-14%
216Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$23,095$20,000$40,00030.0%-13%
217Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL$23,063$25,000$40,00029.9%+8%
218Manchester-Nashua, NH$23,063$25,000$52,00030.0%+8%
219Salinas, CA$23,041$25,000$45,00038.0%+9%
220Brownsville-Harlingen, TX$22,967$19,200$30,00042.8%-16%
221Bakersfield, CA$22,917$22,000$40,00040.8%-4%
222Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ$22,863$23,000$48,00031.3%+1%
223Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$22,810$25,000$45,00039.8%+10%
224Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$22,727$29,000$58,00035.6%+28%
225Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA$22,704$22,000$48,50031.6%-3%
226Laredo, TX$22,624$20,000$31,00046.3%-12%
227McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$22,619$19,000$30,30045.5%-16%
228Shreveport-Bossier City, LA$22,548$20,000$35,00034.9%-11%
229Asheville, NC$22,462$20,800$37,40027.7%-7%
230Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$22,388$24,000$43,00037.7%+7%
231Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$22,203$26,000$45,50033.3%+17%
232Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$22,203$26,000$50,00034.4%+17%
233Racine, WI$22,186$20,700$52,00033.1%-7%
234Grand Junction, CO$22,151$20,800$45,00034.2%-6%
235Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL$22,026$20,000$40,00030.5%-9%
236San Angelo, TX$21,949$20,500$35,00036.6%-7%
237Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ$21,930$20,000$35,00024.3%-9%
238Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL$21,898$21,000$42,00027.5%-4%
239Bloomington, IL$21,668$20,000$54,00040.1%-8%
240Port St. Lucie, FL$21,649$21,000$40,00027.9%-3%
241Erie, PA$21,575$20,000$42,00032.6%-7%
242San Diego-Carlsbad, CA$21,552$25,000$50,00034.2%+16%
243Trenton, NJ$21,505$24,000$56,00034.2%+12%
244Urban Honolulu, HI$21,411$26,700$48,00031.9%+25%
245Tyler, TX$21,277$20,000$40,00036.1%-6%
246Gainesville, FL$21,231$20,000$40,00041.2%-6%
247Coeur d'Alene, ID$21,164$20,000$40,00033.5%-6%
248Flagstaff, AZ$21,031$20,800$40,00042.3%-1%
249Wenatchee, WA$20,747$20,000$40,00035.4%-4%
250Homosassa Springs, FL$20,690$18,000$32,00020.7%-13%
251Tuscaloosa, AL$20,385$18,000$40,00038.2%-12%
252Auburn-Opelika, AL$20,261$17,100$36,00041.3%-16%
253Las Cruces, NM$20,067$18,000$33,00040.4%-10%
254Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ$19,608$20,000$45,00032.6%+2%
255Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC$19,587$18,000$35,00025.5%-8%
256Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL$19,502$18,000$39,00033.0%-8%
257Bangor, ME$19,418$18,700$41,00029.5%-4%
258Gadsden, AL$17,011$14,000$35,00030.6%-18%
259Madera, CA$16,967$16,000$38,00038.4%-6%
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Frequently Asked Questions: Best Places for Young People to Live

Now that we’ve gone through the 10 best cities for young workers, let’s answer some of your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • Where should young adults move to?
  • What city has the highest paying jobs?
  • What’s the best place to start a new life?

Let’s jump right into questions about the best cities for a career as a young professional.

#1 – Where should young adults move to?

For young adults, there is one feature of a city or location that separates them as an age group compared to other age groups: the number of available entry-level jobs. People of all ages want culture, recreation, and things to do, but young adults who are looking for that entry into the workforce would want to look at places where companies are hiring for entry-level jobs.

This includes cities like Austin and Seattle or other, smaller cities depending on the young adult in question. This, of course, may change in the future as more companies are allowing remote working opportunities.

#2 – Where do most young adults live?

The stereotype is that most young adults (Millennials and now Gen Z) live in cities with vibrant culture and a more liberal atmosphere. Austin, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco are just four of those cities. But other popular cities include Charleston in South Carolina, Nashville in Tennessee, Denver in Colorado, and Jacksonville in Florida.

#3 – What city has the highest paying jobs?

What are the best cities to move to for work? The city with the highest average salary in the world, perhaps unsurprisingly, is San Francisco, which is the home of many tech companies. While a monthly paycheck of $6,000 or more may sound appealing, a $12 cup of coffee or a $2 million starter home for a family might not sound as good.

#4 – Where should I move to in the US?

Like with all these questions, it depends on the person on what the best cities to relocate to are. If money is an issue, checking out Cleveland, Memphis, or other cities that have a low cost of living might be good. For an artsy culture, LA, New York, and Miami have large and active artist communities. For a slower pace of life, many Midwestern states or rural states, in general, may allow you to reconnect with yourself and nature.

#5 – Where is the easiest place to live?

The easiest places to live are often those with a low cost of living such as a Memphis or Cleveland but still have a number of attractions or a vibrant culture built around food, music, or some other type of cultural activity.

#6 – What’s the best place to start a new life?

If you’re an American looking for a new place to start over, knowing what you’re looking for in that new place is important. Maybe you’ve always wanted to move to a certain city but haven’t been able to because of finances, relationships, or job restrictions. Now is your chance.

Different regions in the country and even different cities in the same region have different cultures, so learning more about them beforehand can keep you from making the mistake of just picking up and going, only to find yourself miserable in your new place.

Of course, there’s nothing saying you have to live in the U.S. either.

#7 – Who earns the highest salary in the world?

The occupations with the highest salaries in the world tend to be health-related occupations like anesthesiologists, surgeons, physicians, and more.

#8 – What city makes the most money?

New York City is the richest city in the world with over 120,000 residents having net worths of over $5 million and an annual budget of over $80 billion.

Methodology: Determining the Best-Paying Cities for Young Workers

The data on the median earnings for full-time workers under 25, median earnings for all full-time workers, and the proportion of the population under age 25 is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS PUMS). The cost of living index is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Regional Price Parity dataset for 2017.

Median earnings for each metro were adjusted based on the cost of living index for that metro. Earnings in expensive cities were adjusted down to reflect lower purchasing power while earnings in relatively affordable cities were adjusted up to reflect higher purchasing power.

Metro areas are ranked by the cost-of-living adjusted median earnings for full-time workers under the age of 25.

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000-350,000
  • Midsize metros: 350,000-1,000,000
  • Large: more than 1,000,000

Only large metros are included in the above countdown. Now that you know the best cities for young workers, are you ready to compare rates? No matter what age you are, if you own a car and plan to drive it, you need auto insurance.

Whether you live in one of the best cities for young workers or not, inserting your ZIP code into our online quote generator will help you find the best rates for you, dependent on your demographic information, driving record, and area.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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