Corvallis a Draw for Millennials

Millennials looking for a place to go, grow and prosper might consider Corvallis, Oregon, which is near beaches, mountains, jobs and Oregon State University. [Credit: Kari Bruck Photography]Approximately 53 percent of college graduates under the age of 25 are either jobless or work in jobs that don't require a college degree, according to an April study by Drexel University reported by MSNBC.

Sometimes young people need to move away to get a professional jump-start on their careers. That’s what two Millennials in my family decided to do this summer because of a weak job market and the prospect of continued educational opportunities.

New York and San Francisco were their destinations, but others in the 18- to 29-age bracket may want to consider a list comprised by The website identified the best metropolitan areas for 18- to 29-year-olds, taking into account affordable housing, low unemployment and access to nearby attractions and education, according to MSNBC.

“These cities are far better for young people struggling with the economy than others,” the report says. “While the cities on this list do not have the lowest rents, home prices or unemployment, they have the best combination of all three. According to the data provided by, housing costs in these areas are certainly affordable. And considering they are in generally large cities — where average costs can often be high — they are a bargain.”

The list offers plenty of detail on the work and play environment, What follows is a brief summary for each city, including two in the Northwest — No. 3 Corvallis and No. 9 Tacoma.

1. Athens, Georgia: Home to the University of Georgia, Athens, which provides culture and sports opportunities. The city has a median list price for housing that is $20,000 less than the national median and an unemployment rate that is 2.4 percentage points lower than the rest of the state.

2. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: A walkable city with a good transit system, Chapel Hill is home to the oldest public university in the United States — the University of North Carolina, part of the research triangle that includes Raleigh (NCSU) and Durham (Duke). The city is full of attractions, including museums, arboretums and a variety of restaurants.

3. Corvallis, Oregon: For Millennials looking for a job out West, Corvallis, has an unemployment rate that is 2.5 percent lower than the national average. More than 10 percent of people are able to walk to work, the second highest rate of all U.S. metropolitan areas. Oregon State University is located in Corvallis.

4. Dallas, Texas: The city was rated by as one of the 10 best cities to live in the nation, citing Dallas’s more than 7,000 restaurants, its sizable art district and low rentals. The area also is home to several major universities, including Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as the Art Institute of Dallas.

5. Ithaca, New York: Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, 16.5 percent of Ithaca’s commuting residents walk to work — the highest proportion in the country. The city is home to Ithaca College and Cornell University. With its ample educational opportunities, outdoor activities and an environmentally conscious metro area, the city is attractive to Millennials.

 6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: As of May, Oklahoma City had an unemployment rate of just 4.5 percent, well below the national jobless rate. The city also hosts several universities.

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh has one of the largest public transportation systems in the United States, serving more than 200,000 riders per day. Millennial residents can enjoy professional sports teams such as the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins. There are dozens of schools in the area, including the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne and others. Pittsburgh also is regarded as one of the best arts and culture destinations in the nation.

8. Phoenix, Arizona: Millennial sports fans will enjoy the city because of its active MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA teams. With one of the highest proportions of households with children under 18, Phoenix has 29 school districts and is a good place for a millennial who plans on starting or moving a family.

9. Tacoma, Washington: Located just 30 miles from Seattle, Tacoma offers as much as 35 percent lower rent prices and homes that are about $100,000 less than Seattle. The city boasts sustainability efforts, arts and other attractions. According to, the city’s cultural website, Tacoma is home to classical music groups, theater and an opera company.

10. Tallahassee, Florida: Higher education is highly accessible in the city for Millennials seeking a degree. The area is home to universities such as Florida State, Flagler College and Florida A&M. Near the Gulf, Tallahassee has a great nightlife with popular bars and venues for music. is a leading online resource for local, long-distance and international moving needs.