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Best Cities For College Graduates

The 10 Best Cities For New College Graduates

Find out which cities are best for starting your post-grad life thanks to this list from Business Insider.

With May right around the corner, this is just about the time when the college class of 2013 starts to sweat.

For seniors lucky enough to have already lined up a first job, kudos. The hard part is over.

For the other 99% of 20-somethings on the cusp of launching their career, there's just one question to answer: Where do you want to go next?

RELATED: After I dissed North Dakota, the State Flew Me Out to Prove Me Wrong

The ideal city should have a few things going for it: A strong youth job market (as of March, the unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds in December was 11.7% –– not pretty), a good vibe for young professionals, and a low cost of living.

Whether you're more interested in picking a town flush with jobs in your field of study or are looking for a place where you won't have to live hand to mouth, here's a list of 10 cities that appeal the most to post-graduates, with help from Rent.com.

*All labor stats are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic's Feb. 2013 report on Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas.

Read on to find out which cities made the list.

  1. Atlanta, Georgia
    Mean annual income: $46,570 Median price for a one bedroom: $880
    Unemployment rate: 8.3% (lowest rate since December 2008)
    The vibe: A mix of Southern and international flare give Atlanta the kind of diversity that may appeal to small town graduates looking for a change.
    Bonus: Housing is cheap and the city is a major hub for anyone looking for work in media, technology and entertainment.
  2. Boston, Massachusetts
    Mean annual income: $57,520
    Median price for a one bedroom: $1,585.00
    Unemployment rate: 6.0%
    The vibe: Boston is buzzing with smart, talented 20-somethings thanks to its stellar postsecondary education opportunities.
    Bonus: Young professionals aren't quick to leave after graduating, which means the social scene is strong.
  3. Houston, Texas
    Mean annual income: $47,490
    Median price for a one bedroom: $819
    Unemployment rate: 6.3%
    The vibe: Forget the incredible tex-mex. Houston has long attracted young professionals from across the country with its low cost of living and ample job market.
    Bonus: As the fourth largest city in the U.S., the fact that Houston has one of the lowest costs of living on this list is impressive in and of itself.
  4. Denver, Colorado
    Mean annual income: $50,320
    Median price for a one bedroom: $974
    Unemployment rate: 7.3%
    The vibe: Denver's housing options aren't super cheap, but with a few roommates, there's no reason new grads couldn't find affordable digs.
    Bonus: Apart from the gorgeous scenery, Denver is one of the best cities to stay in shape, whether you're a ski bunny or into warmer weather sports.
  5. St. Louis, Missouri
    Mean annual income: $44,210
    Median price for a one bedroom: $960
    Unemployment rate:8.0%
    The vibe: The city topped Forbes' list of happiest places for post-graduates in 2012.
    Bonus: St. Louis is underrated among the post-graduate sect, but with the lowest cost of living on the list, it may be the perfect place to stretch your dollars while you're getting your start in your career.
  6. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
    Mean annual income: $49,760
    Median price for a one bedroom: $899
    Unemployment rate: 5.5%
    The vibe: Theater lovers will swoon over the entertainment scene. Rent.com calls this duo the "perfect combination of indoor and outdoor appeal," with the third largest theater market in the U.S. after New York and Chicago.
    Bonus: The area has the lowest unemployment rate on this list.
  7. Seattle, Washington
    Mean annual income: $54,750
    Median price for a one bedroom: $1,300
    Unemployment rate: 6.6%
    The vibe: Before "Portlandia" put Oregon on the map, Seattle was the ultimate place to be in the Pacific Northwest. Thankfully, it's retained its urban appeal, with trendy coffee shops and a stellar music scene.
    Bonus: Home to tech masters like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Seattle could be a great place to break out for tech graduates.
  8. Dallas, Texas
    Mean annual income: $46,160
    Median price for a one bedroom: $898
    Unemployment rate: 6.3%
    The vibe: Sports lovers will feel right at home here, but it's also home to a booming art and nightlife scene.
    Bonus: Low cost of living and fairly low unemployment levels.
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
    Mean annual income: $45,220
    Median price for a one bedroom: $808
    Unemployment rate: 7.5%
    The vibe: If you're fresh out of college and want to ease your way into big city life, Raleigh offers a nice balance between Southern charm and urban flare.
    Bonus: Did we mention the barbeque?
  10. Washington D.C.
    Mean annual income: $62,890
    Median price for a one bedroom: $1,625
    Unemployment rate: 5.5%
    The vibe: Whether you're a history buff or political junkie, D.C. is a mecca for young professionals looking to make their mark.
    Bonus:You're just a few hours by bus away from major East Coast towns like Philadelphia and New York.

–Mandi Woodruff

Check out these other tips from Business Insider:

Seven Hidden Costs of Living in the City

How to Survive New York in Your 20s

Why Recent Graduates Are Moving Back Home in Droves

Most Twentysomethings Don't Feel Like Adults

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