The top 15 American cities for young college grads

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See if your city made the list.
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Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

As the semester resumes for college seniors around the US, the next important decision many will make is where they should move after graduation.

A ranking of the best major metropolitan areas from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) may help students having trouble making the call.

AIER calculated its list using nine economic, demographic, and quality-of-life factors. AIER defines major metropolitan cities as having over 2.5 million residents.

The report states that the most important factor in determining where recent graduates should relocate is the prevalence of other young recent grads.

“The location you choose to go to college determines where you will likely spend the next four years of your life, and possibly where you will start your career,” Amanda Knarr, program coordinator at AIER, said in a press release. “Our ranking reflects the characteristics that make cities attractive to the average college student.”

Aside from the overall ranking, we included cities’ individual scores for noteworthy metrics including rent, earnings, and bars and restaurants. Of the nine metrics cities were rated based upon, we chose the one for which they scored highest.

Scroll through to find out the 15 best American cities for young college grads.


15. Miami, Florida

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Shutterstock

Population: 5,930,416

College student population in the metro area: 445,865

#4 Bars and Restaurants


14. St. Louis, Missouri

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Population: 2,801,285

College student population in the metro area: 193,985

#1 Rent


13. Atlanta, Georgia

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Flickr/Terence S. Jones

Population: 5,580,601

College student population in the metro area: 407,257

#1 Bars and Restaurants


12. Baltimore, Maryland

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Shutterstock

Population: 2,784,691

College student population in the metro area: 232,641

#6 Labor Force


11. San Diego, California

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Shutterstock.com

Population: 3,260,400

College student population in the metro area: 292,563

#2 Innovation


10. Houston, Texas

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Shutterstock

Population: 6,485,973

College student population in the metro area: 442,093

#2 Diversity


9. Dallas, Texas

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Shutterstock

Population: 6,951,526

College student population in the metro area: 441,376

#2 Rent


8. Chicago, Illinois

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Shutterstock.com

Population: 9,554,342

College student population in the metro area: 702,610

#5 Arts and Entertainment


7. Los Angeles, California

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Shutterstock

Population: 13,262,157

College student population in the metro area: 1,161,228

#1 Arts and Entertainment


6. New York, New York

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Shutterstock/turtix

Population: 20,093,674

College student population in the metro area: 1,436,905

#1 City Access


5. Seattle, Washington

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Shutterstock

Population: 3,672,113

College student population in the metro area: 260,572

#3 Innovation


4. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Flickr/Matthew Paulson

Population: 3,405,269

College student population in the metro area: 240,489

#1 Youth Unemployment


3. Washington, District of Columbia

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Shutterstock.com

Population: 6,034,629

College student population in the metro area: 499,437

#1 College Educated


2. Boston, Massachusetts

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Shutterstock

Population: 4,426,634

College student population in the metro area: 403,778

#1 Innovation


1. San Francisco, California

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Shutterstock

Population: 4,595,792

College student population in the metro area: 364,608

#1 Diversity