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Transition

The Best States for New College Graduates to Live

March 3, 2021

Graduating from college signals the beginning of a whole new era, and starting your post-graduate life is a big step to take. The extent of this challenge can differ greatly depending on where you live. If you are considering where to base yourself after college, it helps to know what areas offer the most opportunities for finding a job and affording a place to live.

Using data sourced from the United States Census Bureau, we’ve broken down the best states to start your post-grad life. 

Hawaii

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.2%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $49,455
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $635,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,300

It’s no secret that Hawaii’s allure for the younger population is strong, offering a very unique lifestyle, but it does have one major downside in that it is very expensive. The median price of a home is the highest in the nation, so the dream of ever owning your own property in Hawaii any time soon is probably a lofty one. That said, the average income for graduates is relatively solid and the unemployment rate for the same is comfortably low. 

Photo by Brian Garrity on Unsplash

California

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 20.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $59,709
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 4.1%
  • Median property value: $525,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,750

Another state that requires a mention due to the extent of its attraction is the state of California. Unfortunately, though, it’s the second most expensive place for owning your own home (especially in the state’s largest city of Los Angeles) , as well as suffering a high unemployment rate. If you do still fancy your chances of gaining solid employment in the Golden State, however, the median college graduate salary is one of the highest in the nation.

Indiana

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 16.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $47,950
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $179,900
  • Median monthly rent: $1025

While Indiana lags behind somewhat when it comes to the percentage of people who hold a degree, its housing costs are very attractive for those starting out and hoping to own their own home sooner rather than later. It boasts a pretty healthy unemployment rate for degree holders, too.

New York

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 19.9%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $56,910
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3.5%
  • Median property value: $411,000
  • Median monthly rent: $3,200

The Empire State might have the highest rent, but it also boasts one of the highest median incomes of any state, so again, if you fancy your chances of landing a great post grad job and you want to go big, then maybe take a bite of the Big Apple!

Colorado

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 24.8%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $51,093
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.9%
  • Median property value: $420,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,900

If snow-covered mountains are more your thing, Colorado is a solid choice for postgraduates. With one of the highest percentages of adults with degrees, a healthy median income and a reasonably affordable property market, it might be time to head to the Centennial State of colorful Colorado.

North Dakota

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $46,945
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 1.1%
  • Median property value: $224,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,300

If job security is your priority, then the Great Plains of the midwest might be calling. North Dakota boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate for college graduates. Couple that with a particularly affordable property market and this state is not one to overlook lightly.

Massachusetts

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 23.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $60,715
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3%
  • Median property value: $439,900
  • Median monthly rent: $2,600

With a median income of over $60,000, you could afford more than beans for dinner if you lock down some post grad employment within the Baked Bean State. Rent isn’t the cheapest around though, so perhaps beans on toast once a week would be prudent. 

Seager Trailhead, Massachusetts 3, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stati Uniti

Photo by Michael Baccin on Unsplash

Maryland

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $61,631
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.8%
  • Median property value: $305,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,700

The Free State has the desirable statistics that you just can’t argue with. A high median income, a reasonably healthy unemployment rate for graduates and an affordable property scene makes for a very promising climate from which to launch into post-college life.

Only you can really know what location will make you truly happy, but being armed with some important statistics when it comes to employment opportunities and affordability can help you recognize which state might be best for you to call home after college.