Austin, Texas made Kiplinger's list of Best Cities for Young Adults due to factors such as rental costs, employment growth, and tech-savy scores.
Austin, Texas ranked number two of five in Kiplinger’s list of Best Cities for Young Adults. When it comes to high society living, University of Texas students sure picked the right city.
Kiplinger worked with research director Kevin Stolarick of the Martin Prosperity Institute to determine the Best Cities for Young Adults. Each of the five cities listed – Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; Boston, Mass.; Austin, Texas and Madison, Wis., offer reasonable living costs, employment growth, and a population with high education and tech-savvy scores. Rental costs and the number of restaurants were also factored in.
“The coolest city in Texas offers everything a young adult could ask for, including patio bars, taco joints, running trails, kayaking, margaritas, barbeque, live music into the night and the chilly waters of Barton Springs' pool to clear the head in the morning,” Kiplinger wrote.
With a population of 1,716,289 and an unemployment rate of 5.8%, Austin, Texas scores a 90.6 on its cost-of-living index, the measure of how expensive it is to live in a city. The national average for the cost-of-living index comes in at 100, meaning that those cities scoring below 100 have a lower-than-average cost of living.
“Austin is an amazing city,” UT student Evelyn Juniper said. “Nightlife is great any time of year. There is always something interesting and exciting to do. The city of Austin and UT Austin always have diverse events to attend.”
Where it costs $959 nationwide to rent a one-bedroom apartment, the price in Austin, Texas weighs in at $810. Living in the center of downtown, however, costs a little higher at an average of $1,500. To get the downtown views and cheaper prices, Apartment Locator Jim Reich of austincool.com told Kiplinger to head south on Oltorf Street. One-bedroom apartments start at $725 in this area and are just minutes from downtown.
“Downtown is really expensive and people who are on a budget just need to be flexible on location,” Reich said. “We get people moving from out-of-state who think they are going to get a downtown loft for $800. There are still inexpensive places to live out there if they are open to different areas. Ironically, the place I mentioned for $725 is now $756. It seems, though, that rental prices in general have probably peaked and will now start a very slow decline over the next few years as new properties are built and come available.”
The job market in Austin, Texas is booming in the field of youth-friendly industries. Nathan Green of campus2careers.com, a job site for recent graduates, told Kiplinger that Paypal, Facebook and eBay are currently hiring. Green also said that the online marketer Yodle expects, through 2012, to hire 40 graduates a month. With a median household income of $57,109, Austin, Texas puts to shame the national average of $43,024.
“I love the recreational places in Austin, such as Barton Greek and the Greenbelt,” UT student Vanessa Negrete said. “Also, I love the arts and live music scene.”
Kiplinger’s ranking brings forth one conclusion: Austin, Texas offers its college students a dynamic home away from home.
“I love living in Austin,” recent UT graduate Carly Hubert said. “The city puts off a great vibe, between UT, the music scene, Kayaking the river, South Congress, and the great food. It has the luxuries of a city but the charm and community of a small town. It’s become my home away from home.”