If you’re 24, buried in college loans and looking for a job in a city that’s affordable but not completely depressing, you’re probably wondering where to start. On the other hand, if you’re in your early 30s and New York or Los Angeles is grinding you down into a quivering husk of financial and emotional instability, it might be time to get out. Either way, with new data showing that 36% percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 31 are currently living at home with mom and dad (the highest number in 40 years) it is high time to figure out where you can actually live these days and still retain some self-respect.
Thus a semi-exhaustive, mostly scientific guide to America’s most livable cities was created.
It started with the 50 most populous cities in the country, and pared down results using Open Internet sources. The Livability Index takes into account 20 essential indicators for those between 18 and 35, like average salary, employment rates, and the cost of rent and utilities measured against everyday factors like bike lanes for commuting, low-cost broadband and the availability of good, cheap takeout. All-important lifestyle metrics were also considered, like the price of a pint of beer and the level of access to live music and coffee shops.
As a result, Charlotte, NC came in number 27 out of the top 35 cities in the US for Millenials. One of the main reasons is that Charlotte has the highest percentage of single young people.