South Carolina 7th Worst State for Millennials

Money Rates has ranked the best and worst states for millenials in their new 2017 study.  Based on the following eight factors: job market for young adults, young adult proportion of population, college tuition affordability, residential rental availability, residential rental affordability, access to high-speed internet, concentration of bars relative to the young adult population and concentration of fitness facilities to the young adult population.

Based on the current results, South Carolina is the 7th worst state for millennials to live in the United States.

Worst States for Millennials 2017

While just about every state has both strengths and weaknesses, the following states seemed to have the most negatives as places for young adults to live:

1. Arizona

 Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 1. Arizona

This state is known more as a retirement destination than as a hot spot for young people, and a look at where Arizona ranked in some categories of interest to millennials helps explain why. Arizona was among the 10 worst states for access to high-speed broadband and for the concentration of fitness facilities relative to the young adult population. In fact, Arizona ranked below-median in seven of the eight categories used in this study.

2. New Hampshire (tie)

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 2. New Hampshire

This is an especially bad choice if you are looking to attend college and money is an issue: at $15,650, the annual cost of in-state tuition at a four-year public school is the highest in the nation, more than 60 percent higher than in the typical state. New Hampshire is also not a great place to go for night life, with the second-lowest concentration of bars relative to the size of its young adult population. New Hampshire also ranked in the bottom 10 for both access to high-speed broadband and rental availability.

However, New Hampshire does have one very important redeeming feature for young adults looking for work: The unemployment rate for people aged 20 to 24 is just 4.2 percent, the lowest in the nation.

2. Virginia (tie)

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 3. Virginia

Surprisingly, given its proximity to Washington D.C., Virginia is not a great place for night life, with the nation’s lowest concentration of bars relative to its number of young people. To put this in perspective, according to Census figures, Virginia has fewer bars than tiny Rhode Island, despite having about eight times as many young adults. Another key drawback for people just starting out is that it is a fairly expensive place to live. Both tuition and rents are among the 10 most expensive in the nation.

4. Washington

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 4. Washington

Since young people tend to rent rather than own their homes, a crucial knock on Washington is that it can be a tough place to find a place to rent. The rental vacancy rate is the third-lowest in the nation. Besides that, Washington ranked better than average in only one category, which was the concentration of fitness facilities relative to the size of the young adult population.

5. Tennessee

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 5. Tennessee

Whether you fall on the party-animal or the health-nut end of the personal life style spectrum, Tennessee is not a particularly welcoming state. Relative to the size of its young adult population, Tennessee ranked 44th for concentration of bars, and 41st for concentration of fitness facilities. It is a relatively easy place for renters to find a place to live, as it ranked better than average for both availability and affordability of rental properties.

6. Oregon

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 6. Oregon

Like neighboring Washington, Oregon suffers from a relative scarcity of rental properties, ranking 45th in that category. It was generally ranked below average across the board, except that it does cater to young people with relatively high concentrations of bars and fitness facilities.

7. South Carolina

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 7. South Carolina

Clearly, young people are not especially attracted to this state because its percentage of 20- to-24-year-olds ranks in the bottom five nationally. One turn-off may be the expense of college in South Carolina, with an average in-state tuition cost for a four-year public school that is among the 10 most expensive in the country.

8. New Jersey

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 8. New Jersey

Expense is a big drawback to New Jersey for young adults on a tight budget. Tuition and rental costs are both among the five most expensive in the U.S. Those high costs are even tougher to afford in a weak job market, and New Jersey suffers from one of the 10 highest rates of young adult unemployment.

9. Kentucky

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 9. Kentucky

This state ranked below average on five of eight criteria, with the most prominent example being a bottom-five ranking for concentration of fitness facilities. On the plus side, rents are fourth cheapest of all the states.

10. California

Worst States for Millennials 2017 - 10. California

Of course, California attracts a lot of young people, but this study is a reminder that you should kick the tires before you choose a place to live. Specifically, make sure you can line up a place to live before you commit because California has the lowest availability of rental property, and the third highest rental costs.

Of course, not all millennials think and act the same way. The above descriptions of strengths of weaknesses of different states offer some suggestions for what young people might want to look at when choosing where to move, but each person will prioritize and judge those factors differently.



To get a handle on some of the factors that may be driving decisions about where millennials choose to live, looked at the following eight factors:

  • Job market for young adults (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Young adult proportion of population (U.S. Census Bureau data)
  • College tuition affordability (Four-year in-state cost data from the College Board)
  • Residential rental availability (U.S. Census Bureau data)
  • Residential rental affordability (U.S. Census Bureau data)
  • Access to high-speed broadband internet (Federal government’s National Broadband Map)
  • Concentration of bars relative to the young adult population (U.S. Census Bureau data)
  • Concentration of fitness facilities relative to the young adult population (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association)

All 50 states plus the District of Columbia were ranked on each of the above criteria, and then average rankings across all eight categories were calculated.

Based on the results, the following are the 10 Best and Worst States for Millennials in 2017:

Full Ranking of Best States for Millennials 2017

Didn’t see your home state in the best or worst lists? Look below for the full ranking of all 50 states and Washington D.C. and see where you stand:

Overall Rank State
1 North Dakota
2 South Dakota
3 Nebraska
4 Louisiana
5 Wyoming
6 Iowa
7 Kansas
7 Wisconsin
9 Montana
10 Indiana
11 Idaho
12 Florida
13 Nevada
14 Mississippi
15 Texas
16 District of Columbia
17 Arkansas
17 Minnesota
19 Delaware
19 Utah
21 Missouri
22 Michigan
23 Alabama
23 Maryland
25 Oklahoma
26 Ohio
26 Pennsylvania
28 Massachusetts
29 Alaska
30 Connecticut
31 New Mexico
31 New York
31 Rhode Island
34 Illinois
35 Colorado
36 West Virginia
37 Hawaii
38 Georgia
39 North Carolina
40 Vermont
41 Maine
42 California
43 Kentucky
44 New Jersey
45 South Carolina
46 Oregon
47 Tennessee
48 Washington
49 New Hampshire
49 Virginia
51 Arizona
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