Why Millennials Love to Live in Columbus

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As the largest generation in history, a lot of people are watching Millennials’ every move — where they like to work, how they spend their money, and where they want to live. And that includes us, your apartment-finding pros who want to match every Millennial with their perfect place.

We surveyed 2,000 Millennials to discover their ideal cities, and what makes them so great. To start with, we asked them what draws them to a city. A healthy job market, affordable rent, and affordable houses topped the list, with most Millennials scoring these factors an 8 out of 10 for importance. Next up, parks, restaurants, and pizza — pizza — followed by school districts, movie theaters, and walkability. Altogether, we measured Millennial sentiments toward 20 city features.

Naturally, job-heavy areas like New York City and San Francisco topped the list for this generation’s favorite cities — despite these cities’ reputations for having inordinately high rents. But Columbus? The home of the Buckeyes also landed in the top 20, with 75% of the city elements Millennials love. (For reference, Columbus tied with the likes of Dallas, Denver, Miami, and San Diego, while beating out Orlando, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.)

Which cities have the qualities that millennials are looking for?

Although it doesn’t spring to mind when you’re brainstorming culture-rich metropolitan areas, Columbus has exactly what young adults are looking for. Drawn in by Ohio State, college students and YPs thrive thanks to the city’s balance of recreation — such as in the lush, green parks along the Scioto River — low rent prices, and plenty of employment opportunities.

Media, PR, and entertainment jobs are especially promising for Columbus residents — the city ranks eighth-best in the nation for its balance of income, opportunity, and rent price for workers in that field. For tech workers, Columbus ranked just a bit lower, at ninth place.

This wealth of opportunity combined with cheap houses for rent also contributes to Columbus having one of the lowest rates of Millennials living with their parents in the country, at just 25.4% — well below the national average figure of 34%. In this city, the typical Millennial earns about $2,200 per month, and pays about $870 in rent.

Considering Columbus’s ample jobs, education opportunities, recreation, and affordable apartments, what Millennial wouldn’t love it there?