Apr 10, 2024 - News

Salt Lake ranked nation's No. 2 city for new college grads

Illustration of a mortarboard hanging on the corner of a trail sign.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Salt Lake City was ranked the 2nd-best U.S. city for new college graduates in a report weighing quality of life and economic opportunity for young adults.

The intrigue: SLC overcame its prohibitive housing costs with a young population driving high scores for opportunity and entertainment, according to an analysis this week by ApartmentAdvisor.

  • The report assessed 98 major cities for quality of life for recent grads.

By the numbers: SLC tied Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the highest share of adults in their 20s — 21.1%.

  • Salt Lake ranked No. 3 for economic opportunity, which factored in population change, age, share of residents with bachelor's degrees and employment — a metric where Utah consistently performs well.
  • We ranked 10th for entertainment arts, food and shopping, likely bolstered by outdoor rec's contribution to "active life." But our restaurant density also was high at No. 11.
  • For mobility — transit, biking options and walkability — we were No. 15, but No. 3 for bikeability.

What they're saying: "If you're looking to work in tech, enjoy the great outdoors on a sunny day, and meet tons of other people your age, then Salt Lake City may be the perfect postgrad city for you," researchers wrote.

Yes, but: We ranked No. 71 for cost of living, with rent outpacing salaries.

Zoom out: Seattle claimed the top spot overall, with Washington, D.C.; Charleston, South Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin, rounding out the top five.

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