10 Best Cities for Young Adults in 2024

Have you ever wondered what makes a city perfect for young adults? It’s not just about having cafes, trendy shops, and a greater distance between you and your in-laws. It’s a whole bunch of things like affordability, job opportunities, and, yeah, some good entertainment spots also come into play. Here in 2024, we have some cities that are really standing out as the go-to place for young folks starting their careers or looking for a decent social scene.

You wanted that back in the old days; you had to go to Los Angeles, you had to go to New York City, Miami. That’s no longer a big deal. Among the 50 states, there are close to 20,000 incorporated cities, each offering different opportunities and possibilities. In this video, we’re ranking cities based on jobs, population, taxes, food and drink establishments, and, of course, what percentage of the population is 34 and younger. As always, I’ll include home prices too because everyone always wants to know that. That is important these days. I always like to give those prices because that’s the American dream, and a lot of younger people want to buy a house and they just can’t. Can’t do it in a lot of cities that used to be very reasonable.

I’ve seen different studies, but it hovers somewhere around 80% of the population can’t afford to buy a house in California unless it’s in the desert area. That’s incredibly depressing. Alright, so today we look at these cities that are the best for young adults going into 2024. Got it, get it, good. Let’s take a look.

10. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas is not your typical Texan city. It’s a bustling hub for professionals of all kinds. Whether you’re an engineer, designer, realtor, advisor, or investor, Houston’s got something for you. The city thrives on collaboration, providing a very friendly environment for career growth and business development. That’s one of the main reasons Texas is so popular these days; they’re very much a business-friendly state now. The downside of Houston is they have the most crime for a major city in Texas, but that doesn’t seem to bother Millennials and Gen Z. They don’t mind some crime if they can get paid well and they can afford a house.

One thing I think gets lost in a lot of these stats is you see the crime stat, and you just assume that as soon as you step out your door to check the mail every day, you’re going to be assaulted down. They’re just here to watch a video. There are some neighborhoods in this country that are downright scary, but that doesn’t mean every single day is a life or death situation. If you can afford it, go to a very, very safe neighborhood; they’re usually very expensive. The rest of us sometimes, we’ve got to brave a little crime. So Houston’s a great place if you’re looking to make strides in your career or start a new venture.

Austin’s probably the best city for that in Texas, but Houston’s not far behind. Dallas is a little played out. Here are your stats: 32% of the population in Houston is between the age of 20 and 34. The average home value in Houston is $261,000; that’s fourth quarter 2023, and they dropped 0.5% in 2023. They’re expected to drop another 1% in 2024.

9. Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is often overlooked in South Carolina. You’ve got a lot of really nice places in the Low Country, which is Charleston, Bluffton, Hilton Head, and a few other places that are really, really nice. Greenville, which is inland quite a bit, is actually the furthest major city away from the coast in South Carolina. It’s often overlooked, but I think that’s changing. They’ve had an influx of people in the last 5 years, and that shows no signs of slowing down.

I think it’s just going to pick up in the coming years, and it kind of shows; their real estate prices are one of the only places in South Carolina that are going up at a good pace. A lot of that is they have a lot of young people moving in that have money because they’re working tech jobs, things of that nature.

But Greenville, South Carolina is a place to be if you’re looking to make your money go further because their cost of living is actually 5% lower than the national average, which means you can enjoy your life without consistently worrying about your wallet. It’s like a secret haven for budget-conscious young folks, and it’s not a bad place to live. Greenville is all about the great outdoors. They’ve got parks everywhere, hiking, biking trails that’ll keep you active, and it’s easy to get to nature preserves, lakes, and rivers. And if you’re up for a little road trip, the Blue Ridge Mountains are just a hop, skip away. And if you need a big city, it’s right in the middle between Atlanta and Charlotte. Even though their real estate prices are going up a little bit, everything else is pretty cheap here. The estimated population of Greenville, South Carolina, between age 20 and 34 is 35%. The Greenville home value is $295,000; that’s up 3.5% last year, but it’s expected to drop at least 1% in 2024.

8. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas has been a really popular place for young folks for about 15 years, maybe a little bit longer. Every time I think they’re kind of played out, and the faucet kind of got turned off for people going to Austin, you look at the numbers and realize they’re still very popular. Now, Austin has a very lively social scene, and it’s a great place for music. It’s actually called the live music capital of the world. One of the best music festivals you’ll ever find is in Austin; it’s called Austin City Limits Music Festival. They have it every October; definitely worth going to see. Austin has something else that appeals to younger people; they have a really good public transportation system and a thriving bike culture. So forget about getting stuck in traffic, and that draws a lot of people in these days.

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas

My generation, it was unthinkable; you don’t take public transportation; you don’t ride a bike to work. We referred to the bus as the loser cruiser when I was in high school. Of course, I grew up in Southern California, and we’re a bunch of a-holes. A few years ago, I saw a travel pamphlet or some commercial telling people to move their business to Austin, and they had a great line at the end of it, like their little tagline, and it was a little corny but effective: “It’s at Austin where creativity meets career, and fun is always on the menu.” That describes Austin, Texas perfectly.

Now, if you want to move there, 38% of the population is between the age of 20 and 34. The average home value, like I said, it’s a little expensive, $530,000, but it went down 8.9% in 2023, and it’s expected to drop another 2.5% in 2024. There’s a lot of markets seeing drops these days; it has a lot of real estate investors a little scared right now. All these YouTubers that were getting Airbnbs, you know, they bought them, and then they show on their videos about how they got their Airbnb ready and how to run an Airbnb business. Well, they’ve totally changed the format of their channels now, and it’s like how Airbnb failed them and how they’re in debt. It’s sad but kind of funny.

7. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio is not just your average Midwest city. It is a vibrant hub of culture, diversity, and opportunity. With nearly 50 breweries gracing this area, it’s safe to say that the craft beer scene is booming in Columbus, Ohio. You won’t find many channels on YouTube recommending anybody move to Ohio, but Columbus is a little different from the rest of Ohio.

They even have their own style of pizza, Columbus-style pizza. If you don’t know what that is, Columbus-style pizza is built upon an ultra-thin crust, usually it’s crisp, closer to a cracker than your average pizza crust. The toppings also go all the way to the very edge; you know how you got that little thing of dough around the pizza crust. They don’t have that. After baking, they cut it into squares instead of triangles. It’s okay; I’ve had it. I prefer Chicago-style pizza and then New York pizza after that, but Columbus is okay. I mean, it’s really kind of hard to make a bad pizza, right, unless you throw anchovies on it. Ask for anchovies on your pizza at my house; I’ll throw you out; it’s an abomination.

Columbus, Ohio

One other thing about Columbus, Ohio that is often overlooked is they have a thriving LGBTQ community. They have a reputation for open-mindedness, and they’ve got plenty of jobs. Columbus, Ohio, is big in healthcare, insurance, retail, information technologies, and finance. They’re also kind of easy on the traffic, so you won’t have to worry about major commute times.

38% of Columbus, Ohio’s population is between 20 and 34. Columbus home values are $235,000, which is very reasonable. It’s not a bad place to live, so that’s great. That’s up 4.4% in 2023, but it’s expected to drop 0.5% in 2024. That’s not much; I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually jumps up 1% .

6. Syracuse, New York

Syracuse is one of those cities that is often overlooked. I mean, it is an underrated gem where the cost of living won’t break your bank, unlike other big cities. You could snag a cozy little home here for a price that’s under $200,000 most of the time, and it’s livable from the get-go. You just gotta deal with some pretty brutal winters.

Syracuse is one of the snowiest cities we have in the country; I think Buffalo is number one. This is a college town; Syracuse University is right here. Plenty of museums, galleries, performing art venues, and like everything in upstate New York, there’s just like rivers, ponds, creeks, lakes, everything around this area. So if you like boating, fishing, or just sticking your feet in a creek and staring at the bushes, it’s a good time.

Syracuse, New York

34% of the population of Syracuse is between the ages of 20 and 34. The typical home value in Syracuse is $174,000; that is up 99.9% in 2023, and it’s expected to just stay even in 2024.

5. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte’s not just popular with young adults, Gen Z, Gen X, Gen QY W. What, all everyone’s moving to Charlotte. Charlotte has a lot to offer, so it only makes sense. But it is especially popular with young professionals, a booming job market, especially when you look at the tech sector. It’s definitely a good place to live if you want your career to take off, and it’s still affordable, which, like I’ve said before, it’s kind of strange when a place is affordable and very popular.

The cost of living in Charlotte is actually 1% lower than the national average, which is outstanding, again, for a big popular city. It is growing kind of fast, so that’s one of the only negatives you could find that truly stands out about Charlotte. They don’t have an incredible amount of crime; their traffic isn’t just mind-blowing like Boston or San Francisco or Los Angeles. They’ve got great universities in this area and tons of great barbecue places. I’ve actually looked at property north of Charlotte a couple of years ago on a lake; that’s quite an endorsement when you realize I just look at these things all the time. I look at these stats; I study places to live in the United States, and I’m willing to move to Charlotte.

Charlotte, North Carolina

34% of Charlotte’s population is between the age of 20 and 34. The average home value, $386,000; that’s not terrible, but it’s not the cheapest on this list, obviously. They went up in 2023, 3.8%, and they’re expected to go up another 1% in 2024.

4.Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think about exciting places to live; second, third, or fourth, really. But it’s got a lot going for it; young adults have kind of taken notice in recent years. This Midwestern gem boasts a diverse economy with major players like Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo, and the Meredith Corporation; they all call it home here. Whether you’re into farming, financial services, or insurance, this city has job opportunities for just about everyone. The best part of living in Des Moines, the unemployment rate here is lower than the national average, making it a prime destination for career-driven young professionals looking to make their mark in the industry and get some experience.

Des Moines, Iowa

This is, you know, if you’re into eating different types of food, believe it or not, this is a great place. They have over a thousand locally-owned restaurants; I read that, and I had to look it up, and yeah, it’s about right. That just seemed like a lot because Des Moines is not that big. Des Moines is a walkable city; it’s very compact, and they’ve got a low cost of living. That’s what’s drawing a lot of young adults in there. The estimated population for Des Moines, Iowa, between the age of 20 and 34 is 39%, and the average home value here is $192,000. That went up 4.7% in 2023, and it’s expected to go up 2.5% in 2024.

3.Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville, Tennessee is not just the heart of country music; it’s also a city with a thriving and diverse economy. With strong growth in sectors like healthcare, music, technology, hospitality, and manufacturing, Nashville’s job market has been on fire in recent years. In fact, in 2022, a study ranked them as having the sixth strongest job market in the entire country. You could find jobs in tourism, technology, healthcare like I’d said, and sales.

Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee is also another state without a state income tax. Now, you will see all kinds of comments down below about how they have other taxes that make up for it. You know, yeah, they do, but there’s some states like where I am here in Oregon; they have a state income tax, they have a high property tax, they don’t have sales tax, so that’s a plus. But if you go down to like California or other states, they got all the taxes. So it’s good not to have to deal with one, and especially if you make a good amount of money, a state income tax or lack thereof can be a deal-breaker or a dealmaker.

44% of Nashville’s population is between the age of 20 and 34. The average home value in Nashville is $427,000. Now, that’s kind of expensive; their cost of living is about even with the national average. Now, their home prices did drop a little bit in 2023; it went down 1.1%, and it’s expected to lose up to 2% next year or this year in 2024.

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh is a sleeper; people, you know, they kind of overlook it unless you’re back in the Pennsylvania area or maybe Ohio. Not many people think about moving to Pittsburgh, especially if you’re a young adult. In recent years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about tips on moving to Pittsburgh; it’s gotten on some people’s radar just in the last couple of years. It’s simple reason: you could go there and buy a home, whereas in a lot of other places in this country, there’s no chance of you buying a home unless you’re making over $120,000 a year. Move to Pittsburgh, making $120,000 a year, you can live like a king, almost.

Pittsburgh is a city that is buzzing with culture and education. You won’t have to look far to find art galleries, museums, theaters, and performing art venues. Pittsburgh also takes its education seriously; a significant portion of the population holds a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree, thanks in part to the renowned institutions like Carnegie Mellon and, of course, Pitt. These academic powerhouses have contributed significantly to Pittsburgh’s reputation as a center for quality higher education. Pittsburgh, for all the things that people might think about it, is actually a warm and welcoming community. It’s not like other places in the country where they want to chase out any newcomers and they tell people not to move there.

I’ve never had one person in the comment section say don’t move to Pittsburgh; we’re full. It always cracks me up. So next time we have a downturn in the economy, and let’s say all the jobs are in California or New York, should we just tell all the people from Middle America not to show up? Just weird. We’re all Americans; we’re in this together. 39% of the Pittsburgh population is between the ages of 20 and 34. The average home value is $219,000. That’s it. That is up 3.8%, but in 2024, it’s expected to drop 1%. I poked around on Zillow and I found a lot of really nice homes for under $240,000, like ready to go, they’re decent shape, livable, nice.

1.Durham, North Carolina

Now, most people refer to this area as Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; it’s a metro area, but we’re just focusing on Durham. Durham, North Carolina is nestled in the heart of the Research Triangle; it’s honestly like all roads lead to the Research Triangle in North Carolina. I think a minute ago, I said Charlotte’s close to the Research Triangle, which it is, just not terribly close. But you got Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Rocky Mount, too far away. The Research Triangle plays a big part in this country.

Durham, North Carolina

Durham is another city that has a booming job market: tech, education, healthcare, all big here. The cool thing is all of their things you spend money on, housing, utilities, and groceries, are all a little bit below the national average, so that’s good. They don’t have any major perks like no state income tax or anything like that, but it’s still affordable to live here, and it’s really nice if you do work in education things. They’ve got Duke University here, University of North Carolina, and a few others. That’s why the population here is so young.

38% of Durham, North Carolina’s population is between the ages of 20 and 34. The average home value here is $391,000. In 2023, that went up 0.9%, and it’s expected to go up another 1% in 2024. All right, that’s today’s video. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Hope you got some information out of it. Now, go out, have a great day, and be nice to each other.

Summary

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons for each of the mentioned cities

CityProsCons
Houston, Texas– Abundant job opportunities in various professional fields– High crime rate compared to other major cities in Texas
– Business-friendly environment supporting career growth and development– Average home value dropped in 2023 and expected to drop in 2024
Greenville, SC– Growing city with an influx of young professionals– Real estate prices are going up
– Cost of living is 5% lower than the national average, making it budget-friendly
Austin, Texas– Lively social scene and live music capital of the world– Relatively high average home value
– Good public transportation system and thriving bike culture– Home values dropped in 2023 and expected to drop in 2024
Columbus, Ohio– Vibrant hub of culture, diversity, and job opportunities– Columbus-style pizza may not appeal to everyone
– Thriving LGBTQ community with open-mindedness– Home values expected to drop slightly in 2024
Syracuse, NY– Affordable cost of living with homes under $200,000– Extremely snowy winters
– College town with museums, galleries, and outdoor recreational opportunities– Home values expected to stay even in 2024
Charlotte, NC– Booming job market, especially in the tech sector– Growing fast, which may lead to increased competition
– Cost of living 1% lower than the national average– Average home value expected to increase in 2024
Des Moines, IA– Diverse economy with job opportunities in farming, financial services, and insurance– Not traditionally viewed as an exciting place to live
– Low unemployment rate and a walkable city– Average home value expected to increase in 2024
Nashville, TN– Thriving and diverse economy with strong growth in various sectors– Relatively high average home value
– No state income tax and various job opportunities in tourism, technology, healthcare, and sales– Home values dropped in 2023 and expected to drop in 2024
Pittsburgh, PA– Affordable city with the possibility of buying a home at a reasonable price– Cold winters, but a warm and welcoming community
– Rich in culture, education, and quality higher education institutions– Average home value expected to drop in 2024
Durham, NC– Booming job market in tech, education, and healthcare– Average home value is relatively high
– Affordable cost of living with housing, utilities, and groceries below the national average– No major perks like no state income tax

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