Atlanta named one of the best cities in the US for recent college grads

Graduating college is one thing, but leaving the city you’ve called home for the past few years in search of a new home can seem like a daunting and risky task.

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Lucky for you, analysts at personal finance site Nerdwallet came up with a list of the best cities for recent college grads based on opportunities, average income, affordability, unemployment rate, population of young adults and more.

Data for the ranking came from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Overall, researchers found cities with high rents aren’t always a bad place to start out and cities with big state universities are especially welcoming.

Of the country’s 100 most populated cities, Madison, Wisconsin, earned top honors for its highly educated young adult population and its affordability.

Our very own Atlanta came in ninth on the list.

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Here’s what Nerdwallet had to say about Atlanta:

Georgia's largest city and a magnet for people from around the South and beyond, Atlanta scores just behind Minneapolis in median gross rent as a percentage of income at 22%. In addition to affordability, the city is 10th in the top 100 in percentage of workers in management, business, science and arts occupations, in part due to the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech.

And a deeper look at Atlanta’s numbers:

  • Overall rank: 9
  • Population: 463,875
  • Bachelor's degree or higher for population 25 and older: 27 percent
  • Median earnings with bachelor's degree, 25 and older: $53,581
  • Rent as percentage of income for those with a bachelor's degree, 25 and older: 22 percent
  • Percentage of workers in management, business, science or arts: 51.2 percent
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent
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According to Nerdwallet, employers are reporting plans to hire 5 percent more graduates in 2017 than in 2016, which may mean Atlanta’s about to get even more crowded.

And it's been a big year for Atlanta's population. In fact, according to data released in August by the Atlanta Regional Commission, more than 78,000 people moved to metro Atlanta's 10-county region in the past year.

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Why are people moving to Georgia’s capital? Likely for the same reason Nerdwallet named Atlanta in its best cities for recent grads ranking: affordability and abundant opportunity.

The 10 best cities for recent college grads, according to Nerdwallet:

  1. Madison, Wisconsin
  2. Arlington, Virginia
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  5. Boston, Massachusetts
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Atlanta
  10. Raleigh, North Carolina

More about the ranking and its methodology at