Millennials work officeJacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.

With over 72 million millennials, baby boomers have outpaced the largest living adult generation. Millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center as people born between 1981 and 1996, are currently in their prime of home buying. However, millennial home ownership rates have lagged behind those of older generations – in part because property prices have risen but income has not kept pace. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual income for full-time Millennials in 2019 was $ 42,000, leaving many Millennials struggling to afford a home.

Nationwide, data from the Census Bureau shows that the home ownership rate in the US was 64.6% in 2019, but that for millennials was only 39.9%. The average income of 25 to 34 year olds has increased by 2½ times since 1980; However, real estate prices have more than tripled over the same period. Median income growth for this age group kept pace with house prices until 2000 house prices began to rise steeply. Although house prices fell significantly during the Great Recession, they have risen rapidly since 2012.

At the state level, Millennials living in Minnesota and Massachusetts had the highest median incomes after adjusting for the cost of living at $ 51,282 and $ 50,137, respectively, in 2019. Because of the very high cost of living, Hawaiian millennials with a cost-of-living average income of $ 37,849 tend to earn less last year. The cost of living in Florida is roughly the national average, but millennials in Florida earned just $ 34,990 in adjusted median income, the lowest in the country.

To find the highest paid cities for millennials, HireAHelper researchers analyzed the latest income and property price data from the Census Bureau and Zillow. The researchers ranked the metropolitan areas according to the average cost of living income for full-time millennials. The researchers also calculated the unadjusted median earnings for full-time millennials, the average home price, and the millennial home ownership rate.

In order to improve the relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis. In addition, subway areas have been divided into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Medium-sized metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1 million or more

Read on to see the major metros with the highest median income for full-time Millennials after adjusting the cost of living.

15. Columbus, OH

Women in Columbus OhioJoshua Resnick / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 46,790
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 43,000
  • Median home price: $ 223,010
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 37.9%
  • Cost of living: 8.1% below the national average

14. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore Harbor, Maryland tugboatCascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 46,860
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 50,000
  • Median home price: $ 307,675
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 44.3%
  • Cost of living: 6.7% above the national average

13. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI

The bronze Fonz statueNejdet Duzen / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 47,489
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 45,020
  • Median home price: $ 200,213
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 35.4%
  • Cost of living: 5.2% below the national average

12. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver skylineAndrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 47,664
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 50,000
  • Median home price: $ 462,724
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 42.9%
  • Cost of living: 4.9% above the national average

11. St. Louis, MO-IL

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 47,967
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 43,650
  • Median home price: $ 188,845
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 48.0%
  • Cost of living: 9.0% below the national average

10. Kansas City, MO-KS

Kansas City, MissouriScruggelgreen / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 48,439
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 45,000
  • Median home price: $ 218,314
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 43.9%
  • Cost of living: 7.1% below the national average

9. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Cincinnati Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 48,667
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 43,800
  • Median home price: 201,822 USD
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 43.9%
  • Cost of living: 10.0% below the national average

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Minneapolis, Minnesotanikitsin.smugmug.com / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 48,733
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 50,000
  • Median home price: $ 307,156
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 48.8%
  • Cost of living: 2.6% above the national average

7. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

Hartford, ConnecticutJames Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 48,972
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 50,000
  • Median home price: $ 246,266
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 41.3%
  • Cost of living: 2.1% above the national average

6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington, D.C. womaneurobanks / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 50,934
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 60,000
  • Median home price: 455,038 USD
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 38.0%
  • Cost of living: 17.8% above the national average

5. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaJames Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 51,557
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 48,000
  • Median home price: $ 172,719
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 44.3%
  • Cost of living: 6.9% below the national average

4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Page Light Studios / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 51,664
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 59,000
  • Median home price: 520,206 USD
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 35.4%
  • Cost of living: 14.2% above the national average

3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle, Washingtonkwest / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 51,727
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 58,400
  • Median home price: $ 555,689
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 36.3%
  • Cost of living: 2.9% above the national average

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA.

San Francisco, CaliforniaEkaterina Pokrovsky / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): $ 53,191
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 70,000
  • Median home price: $ 1,113,664
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 25.0%
  • Cost of living: 31.6% above the national average

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA.

The San Jose skyline, which has a lower median rent than the average mortgage paymentstellamc / Shutterstock.com

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost of living adjusted): 60,201 USD
  • Median earnings for full-time millennials (not adjusted): $ 77,900
  • Median home price: $ 1,219,074
  • Millennial home ownership rate: 26.6%
  • Cost of living: 29.4% above the national average

methodology

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

The highest paid metros for millennials are diverse, offering a mix of expensive coastal cities and cheaper Midwestern cities. The two best-paid major subway areas – San Jose and San Francisco – are among the most expensive areas in the country, but millennials earn enough there to make up for the high cost of living. With real estate prices in the Bay Area being disproportionately high than prices for other goods and services, home ownership rates are still lagging behind many of the highest-paying subway areas for affordable housing.

The highest-paying small and medium-sized metros are also distributed across the country. Most of these metros offer affordability and lower house prices, which means millennials don't have to make as much money to live comfortably. Millennial home ownership rates also tend to be higher in these metropolises. Overall, the thousand-year home ownership rate for the best-paid small and medium-sized metros is almost 50 percent.

To determine the best-paid cities for millennials, HireAHelper analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 Community Survey Microdata Sample (ACS PUMS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (RPP) data set from 2018, and Zillow. Statistics on median income for full-time millennial workers and millennial home ownership are from the ACS PUMS, and the cost of living index is from the RPP. The median property prices come from the Zillow Home Value Index for September 2020.

To make income comparable in expensive and cheaper areas, the median income for each subway was adjusted using the cost of living index for that subway. Income in expensive metros has been adjusted to reflect lower purchasing power, while income in relatively affordable cities has been adjusted to reflect higher purchasing power.

Metropolitan areas are ranked according to the average cost of living income for full-time millennial workers. The Pew Research Center defines millennials as the generation of people born in 1981–1996, which means millennials were 23 to 38 years old in 2019.

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation for clicking links in our stories.

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