Culture / Newsy

Houston Ranked the No. 1 City in America for Young People

The Land Where New College Graduates Thrive

BY // 12.21.17

Calling all grads! A new study ranks Houston as the No. 1 place in America to start your career.

If you received your degree in May, it may be time to get packing and head to H-Town. Or at least Texas.

Houston ranks No. 1 on the new 2018 list of the Best Big Cities for New Grads — and Austin and San Antonio tied for second place. analyzed 59 metropolitan areas in the United Stares with populations of more than 750,000 to determine the rankings.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner shared his reaction to the latest Bayou City accolade in a statement to PaperCity. 

“I am pleased to see that the city of Houston has been recognized as the No.1 Best Big City For New Graduates,” Turner says. “Houston is a place of opportunity for everyone and continues to draw people from all over the world. Houston is also a city of innovation and one that invests in the startup community.

“I am hopeful that we will continue to meet the needs and interests of our millennials.”


  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North
  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North
  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North
  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North
  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North
  • Post Oak Hotel - 29 Degrees North

Houston’s corporate might helps. The Bayou City is home to 20 Fortune 500 companies and 35 ranked in the top 1,000, according to Forbes‘ latest analysis.

These best cities for new grads rankings were determined using a 10-point scale measuring average rent, cost of living, percentage of young people, night life, the job market, median earnings, and more.

Space City rocketed from third place to first place this year. Houston grabbed the gold medal behind the following stats:

Percent of population between 20 and 34 in 2015: 22 percent

Median rent, 2015: $764

Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $58, 244

Average projected job growth statewide, 2014-2024: 17.71 percent.

Behind the Texas trio, Denver, Columbus (Ohio), San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, San Jose and Baltimore complete the Top 10. The cities on the list have varying degrees of appeal to those who recently earned degrees, based on employment opportunities, affordability, and aspects like recreation. But the numbers say Houston is a clear No. 1.

Shayak Sen, a current biochemistry student at University of Texas in Austin, grew up in Houston and would be happy to move back once he earns his degree

“Houston has it all,” Sen tells PaperCity. “Not only is the job market one of the best in the country, there’s so much to do. Theater, music sports — and it’s all inexpensive or free.”

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