The 15 best places in the US for millennials where life is affordable and jobs are plentiful

Ilana Glazer, left, and Abbi Jacobson, right, stars and writers of Comedy Central's "Broad City"
Carolyn Cole | Getty Images
Ilana Glazer, left, and Abbi Jacobson, right, stars and writers of Comedy Central's "Broad City"

Life is significantly more expensive for millennials today than it was for their parents. But, depending on where they choose to live, millennials can still maximize both their salaries and their quality of life.

To determine the best places for young people, personal finance site WalletHub evaluated all 50 state plus Washington, D.C., according to five major factors:

  • Affordability: Includes cost of living, average monthly earnings and homeownership rate
  • Education and health: Includes how often millennials see the doctor and dentist and how many are diagnosed with depression
  • Quality of life: Includes how many millennials live on their own versus with their parents and how singles-friendly each state is
  • Economic health: Includes unemployment rate, number of entry level jobs and average earnings growth
  • Civic engagement: Includes voter turnout rate and volunteer rate

From there, WalletHub ranked each state to reveal where 20- and 30-somethings are able to thrive. Here are the 15 states that came out on top, where millennials are most likely to be happy, healthy, employed and able to afford rent.

15. Connecticut

Affordability rank: 41
Quality of life rank: 23
Education and health rank: 3
Economic health rank: 29

Hartford, Connecticut
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Hartford, Connecticut

14. Vermont

Affordability rank: 50
Quality of life rank: 20
Education and health rank: 4
Economic health rank: 12

Burlington, Vermont
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Burlington, Vermont

13. Pennsylvania

Affordability rank: 24
Quality of life rank: 15
Education and health rank: 15
Economic health rank: 36

Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania
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Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania

12. New Hampshire

Affordability rank: 46
Quality of life rank: 21
Education and health rank: 11
Economic health rank: 2

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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Portsmouth, New Hampshire

11. Washington

Affordability rank: 22
Quality of life rank: 8
Education and health rank: 26
Economic health rank: 11

Seattle, Washington
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Seattle, Washington

10. South Dakota

Affordability rank: 26
Quality of life rank: 26
Education and health rank: 7
Economic health rank: 7

People walk down historic Main St. in Deadwood, South Dakota.
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People walk down historic Main St. in Deadwood, South Dakota.

9. Colorado

Affordability rank: 33
Quality of life rank: 7
Education and health rank: 27
Economic health rank: 3


8. Nebraska

Affordability rank: 18
Quality of life rank: 13
Education and health rank: 21
Economic health rank: 6

Omaha, Nebraska
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Omaha, Nebraska

7. Utah

Affordability rank: 32
Quality of life rank: 11
Education and health rank: 16
Economic health rank: 8

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Salt Lake City, Utah

6. Wisconsin

Affordability rank: 27
Quality of life rank: 5
Education and health rank: 12
Economic health rank: 13

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

5. Iowa

Affordability rank: 5
Quality of life rank: 14
Education and health rank: 6
Economic health rank: 10

Des Moines, Iowa
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Des Moines, Iowa

4. Massachusetts

Affordability rank: 39
Quality of life rank: 3
Education and health rank: 2
Economic health rank: 5

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3. Minnesota

Affordability rank: 17
Quality of life rank: 6
Education and health rank: 10
Economic health rank: 9

Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Minneapolis, Minnesota

2. North Dakota

Affordability rank: 1
Quality of life rank: 9
Education and health rank: 18
Economic health rank: 1

Fargo, North Dakota
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Fargo, North Dakota

1. Washington, D.C.

Affordability rank: 43
Quality of life rank: 1
Education and health rank: 1
Economic health rank: 16