Rentberry’s Picks: US Cities For Young Professionals [2023 Updated]

We hope neither Ryan Gosling nor Emma Stone will blame us for quoting a line from a La La Land song. But how could we resist if ‘City of stars, are you shining just for me?’ is exactly the words young professionals whisper when planting their roots somewhere in New York City or Boston?

Trading a calm of a small city for an endless chase after success is sure worth it, but here’s a tricky part: you need to find out what city is most likely to shine for you and make you shine in return. This question needs an answer, and I’m here exactly for the purpose. Read on to learn what American cities are best for starting a career and living a well-balanced life young people are so concerned about.

For starters, it’s crucial to find out what factors make cities good for launching a career. Needless to say, the list of factors is not limited to career opportunities and affordable housing. There is much more than that — the median salary, unemployment rate, night-out options, the median age of locals, and the number of sunny days, to name but a few. Yes, these all count. So let’s see which US cities are the best choice for young professionals.

Austin, TX

austin as a perfect place for a young professional

Average Annual Salary: $57,830
Average Rent: $2,411/mo
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Featured among the best cities for launching a startup and the greatest cities to live in Texas, Austin attracts young people faster than you can imagine. You’ll be surprised to learn that this city ranked as the fourth fastest growing city in the country (by numeric population growth). You can either call it another hype or try to take advantage of the trend. Austin is a combination of a growing tech scene, a remarkable employment landscape, booming infrastructure, and a relatively low cost of living all rolled into one. Sounds like a great place to kick-start your career!

But, as you know, the life of a young professional is not all about work. Regardless of your interests, you’ll notice that there’s always plenty to do and see in Austin. The city promotes art and culture, supporting countless initiatives of local creators. Also, it has a very vibrant nightlife and music scene, so you’ll never have problems finding a new place to hang out with your friends.

New York City, NY

nyc is a place to be for young professionals

Average Annual Salary: $71,187
Average Rent: $2,682/mo
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%

Ranked highly for diversity and nightlife, NYC is deservedly considered the capital of the world. No wonder why young people are flocking there to chase their most cherished dreams (read: money, love, and fame). The cost of living there is insanely high, the unemployment rate is slightly above the nation’s average, and the rent costs way more than it should, but it all counts for little compared to the magic spell the city puts on everyone who dares to move there for good.

We all know the cons of living in New York, and true New Yorkers will probably tell you more about them than anyone else. But, they still decide to stay true to the City and live here against all odds. It might be true love, it might be Stockholm syndrome, who’s to say. But one thing we know for sure: there’s no better time to experience New York than in your 20s and 30s.

San Francisco, CA

san francisco, california

Average Annual Salary: $81,840
Average Rent: $3,639/mo
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%

It might sometimes seem to you that this city passes judgment on anyone who’s not in tech or startups or venture investments, but a closer look will sure change your mind. Yes, it’s expensive to live there. And yes, the average commute time in San Francisco is above the national average. But if you’re smart, innovative and young, this place will pay you off with a quick career boost before you even know it.

Here, everyone can find a perfect neighborhood for themselves. For example, Cow Hollow offers plenty of entertainment opportunities, excellent restaurants, and the relaxed but refined vibe so loved by many young professionals in the area. Noe Valley would be perfect for families with small children, while Castro is probably one of the most friendly LGBTQ+ neighborhoods in the whole country.

Boston, MA

boston - excellent choice for young people

Average Annual Salary: $73,850
Average Rent: $2,700/mo
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

Boston is one of the most educated cities in the US, which also makes it very attractive to potential employers. No wonder it primes itself on the fairly low unemployment rate, high median salaries, and plenty of job opportunities to suit every taste and talent. Many major corporations from different fields choose Boston as one of their headquarters. Just some examples are Deloitte, Amazon, IBM, Target, BCG, and Fidelity Investments. And if you seek something less corporate, Boston also has very strong healthcare and education sectors.

As for the quality of life, Boston is green, safe, and has an excellent public transportation system. Even though it’s a city filled with students, it’s relatively quiet, but you’ll always be able to find a bar to hang out with the friends in your neighborhood. Just like with many other cities on our list, the biggest con of Boston is housing costs: depending on your budget and requirements, it could be difficult to find a perfect place for rent. That’s when Rentberry comes to the rescue with over 2,000 rental apartments in Boston!

Seattle, WA

seattle, washington

Average Annual Salary: $74,330
Average Rent: $2,443/mo
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%

Back in the 70s, Seattle was only good for career opportunities related to coffee. Yes, Starbucks was launched there, and yes, it’s become a worldwide success. Now, however, this city is a great choice for young professionals from different industries. Not as competitive and demanding as the Big Apple, Seattle still has all the charm of a big city. However, it won’t make you feel burned out as fast as other megapolises. It is slower, more laid-back, and way more walkable.

Some of this high quality of life might come from the city being very green, as it is surrounded by stunning evergreen forests and has easy access to Washington’s national parks. Also, it is the second greenest city in the country when it comes to energy efficiency, which is another important factor for many young people searching for a perfect place to live.

San Jose, CA

san jose, california

Average Annual Salary: $93,450
Average Rent: $4,858/mo
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%

San Jose is another excellent city for young professionals, especially those working in tech and science. It’s a major tech hub with employers such as Google, Sisco Systems, and Apple scouting for talented graduates from local universities. Because of so many people working in these sectors, the average salary here is significantly higher than the national average of $56,310.

As you might have suspected, such a high median income leads to high costs of living and housing in the city. But, if you’re lucky and smart enough to land a dream job in tech, you can enjoy some of your best years in a perfect city for any young professionals. San Jose is fun, boasts ideal weather, plenty of things to do outdoors, and a diverse food scene.

Denver, CO

denver, colorado

Average Annual Salary: $64,880
Average Rent: $2,752/mo
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

If our choice of putting Denver as one of the best places for young professionals seems counterintuitive to you, we’re here to bring in details. It’s true that not so many people would even consider moving to Colorado after graduation. Yes, the image of Denver might not be yet well-established, but it’s sure on the rise. This city uniquely delivers on all fronts: consider the low unemployment rate, ridiculously low rental prices, and relatively high salaries, and you’ll see what we’re talking about. In the last 15 years, the city experienced a remarkably large influx of domestic migrants, and the trend is gaining momentum. In 2020, Denver was included in the top 5 fastest growing cities when it comes to inbound growth.

Summing Up

Although there is always a common sense in patterns we retrieve from valuable metrics, here’s a little truth you should know: something special is oftentimes hidden behind the numbers. So please, please don’t limit yourself to this list. There are no equal life stories and no ratings to suit everyone. Don’t narrow your choices down to what we’ve picked for this article, but feel free to use it as a helping guide.

This article was created by our editorial team and represents Rentberry’s subjective views on the best places to live in the US for young professionals. We took into consideration factors such as quality of life, career and growth opportunities, and cost of living.

1 Comment

  1. Shawn Afshar says:

    Denver is becoming very expensive no longer a good choice

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