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Where Millennials Go After College, and Why

There are plenty of websites that suggest where young college graduates ought to move. Some focus on where grads can expect a good employment situation, listing how places rank on things like the unemployment rate and income.

Others rank cities by where college graduates will be happiest. Rankings like these focus on measuring quality of life factors, such as the presence of bars and restaurants, or how happy people are at work.

However, few of these websites rank places for college graduates based on where they actually go and why.

This spring, the American Institute for Economic Research will release our Employment Destinations Index, ranking American metro areas on their attractiveness to college graduates who are between the ages of 22-35.

We built the index on variables that our research shows account for why college graduates move to a city. Among the factors we’ve tested empirically are the local labor market conditions, cost of rent, and racial and ethnic diversity.

We hope such an index, grounded in empirical research, will better help college grads think about the best destinations for them to start their lives after college.

We presented the research behind the Employment Destination Index at the recent Eastern Economic Association annual meeting in New York City.

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