Between high student loans and high unemployment rates, Millennials may be having a more difficult time living comfortably than their Baby Boomer parents did in their glory days. But those in North Dakota appear to be faring quite a bit better than some of their far-flung counterparts.
According to a recent study by Zippia, North Dakota is the best place for Millennials to settle. In fact, the Midwest in general is teeming with Millennial prosperity; Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas are all in the top 10 states. The rest of the list is most of the Rocky Mountain region, including Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.
While those states boast beautiful vistas and plenty of room to roam, Zippia’s analysis didn’t actually consider those features. Instead, the list is based on four factors: Millennial unemployment rate, Millennial homeownership rate, average student loan debt, and percentage of Millennials living below the poverty line. After ranking the states in each category, researchers averaged their scores to create an overall breakdown. Nebraska and Iowa, for example, both have a 3 percent unemployment rate and a 13 percent homeownership rate among Millennials; but Millennials in Nebraska have slightly less student debt, and more of them live above the poverty line.
Things start to go south once you go south. Mississippi and Florida tied for the unofficial title of "most difficult state for Millennials." Alabama, Georgia, and both Carolinas also made the list. The West Coast isn’t easy for 30-somethings, either—California and Oregon rounded out the top 10.
See if your state made the top or bottom 10 below, and check out all the stats here.
Best States for Millennials
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Worst States for Millennials
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- New Mexico