Jumping into adulthood has been tough of late. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, young adults scurried back to their parents’ or grandparents’ homes. Roughly 80 percent of them were members of Generation Z, those born in the late 1990s through the early 2000s; a third of that generation is still living there today. Now, inflation and competition for rentals have created more obstacles to moving out.
But there are reasons for optimism: In July, 528,000 new jobs were created across the country, more than doubling projections and dropping the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent — equaling the rate in February 2020, which was a 50-year low. Last week, President Biden announced a plan to cancel at least $10,000 in student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans, which could ease financial pressure. And the rise of remote work has allowed more employees to explore less expensive housing markets.
CommercialCafe, a real estate listing service owned by the data firm Yardi Matrix, offers some help in finding the cities best suited for 18- to 25-year-olds. Each of the largest 45 U.S. cities was scored on characteristics important to them: affordability, Gen Z population share, unemployment rate, internet speed, recreational and dining establishments, green commuting options, number of parks and school enrollment. Scores for all metrics were totaled to rank each city.
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