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Top 10 Cities for Millennials to Live Solo in the US

Top 10 cities millennials live independently in the States

Moving to a place of your own in the States doesn’t have to be out of reach. While big cities like New York and San Francisco outprice many, other exciting locales across the country make financial sense for solo-minded young people.

Almost 9% of U.S. millennials live on their own, but the share of independent renters and homeowners between the ages of 25- to 34-years-old has been declining since 2005. Between rising rents and home prices, more young people are choosing to live with parents or share housing costs with roommates.

Millennials in the USA

Courtesy of Zillow

However, Zillow found 10 cities where more millennials live independently. Check out how these metro areas compare in housing costs, incomes, employment growth, the percentage of affordable homes and how many millennials can afford to live alone – without overspending.

10. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is millennial friendly

At number 10, 13.3% of Oklahoma City’s millennial population lives alone, compared to 21.6% who can afford to do so within reason.

The median income for millennials in Oklahoma City is $40,000 USD per year, and the city holds a 1.2% annual employment growth rate. Oklahoma City has a median home value of $129,700 USD and a median rent of $1,148 USD per month.

If you want a true taste of the conventional American lifestyle, Oklahoma City’s cowboy culture is sure to fit the bill.

9. Kansas City, MO

13.4% of millennials in Kansas City, Missouri live without roommates

In Kansas City, 13.4% of millennials live without roommates, slightly higher than the 13.2% who can actually afford to do so.

The median income for Kansas City millennials is $40,000 USD per year, and the city showed 1.9% employment growth over the past year. The median home value in Kansas City is $110,400 USD, while the median rent across the greater metro is $1,293 USD per month.

Kansas City has a massive jazz legacy, present in both the American Jazz Museum and historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.

8. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas: 8th most popular city for independent millennials

The Austin rental market is growing rapidly, but 13.4% of millennials still rent on their own. However, only 1.5% of Austin millennials can afford to live on their own, despite the 4.6% employment growth rate and a median income of $40,000 USD per year.

Austin has a high median home value of $303,100 USD compared to other millennial-independent cities. Apartments hold a median rental value of $1,734 USD per month. Austin is known as the youngest big city in the U.S. with 90,000 college and university students.

7. New Orleans, LA

15% of New Orleans' millennials can afford to live independently

Over 15% of New Orleans millennials can afford to live on their own, with 13.4% of the generation living alone. The median income for millennials in NOLA is $40,000 USD per year, and the city has 0.6% year-over-year employment growth.

Home buyers in New Orleans can expect to pay around $168,200 USD, the median home value, whereas renters can find median-priced apartments at $1,417 USD per month.

NOLA is known for its nightlife, music, culture and cuisine. Each of these cultural cornerstones are feature prominently during Mardi Gras, a late-winter festival which had the largest attendance in a decade of 1.172 million visitors in 2016.

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6. Cleveland, OH

Millennials live solo in Cleveland, Ohio

Like Virginia Beach, 13.9% of millennials in Cleveland rent or own alone. The median income among the generation is significantly lower at $35,000 USD per year, but 6.2% of homes are still within financial reach. Cleveland posted just under 1% annual employment growth.

Cleveland homes for sale are affordable with a median value of $52,100 USD. Rents are a bit steeper in the at $1,188 USD per month when compared to the cost of a median value mortgage.

Aside from being financially smart, now is an especially exciting time to move to Cleveland. The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team just brought home their first NBA championship with the help of LeBron James, a native to the Cleveland suburb of Akron.

5. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, Virginia: 2nd largest amount of millennials living solo

Just under 14% of Virginia Beach millennials live on their own, who share a median income of $50,000 USD per year. A large 17.6% of homes in Virginia Beach are within budget for millennials.

The city posted a 1% employment growth over the past year. The Zillow Home Value Index for Virginia Beach is $250,100 USD, and the median rent in the Virginia Beach Metro is $1,437 USD per month. The picturesque city is situated right on the coast, with a three-mile long boardwalk along the oceanfront.

4. Columbus, OH

Columbus, Ohio: where millennials live solo

This Midwestern mid-sized city, which is the largest in the state of Ohio, allows 14% of millennials to live without roommates, and features 11.6% of homes that are considered affordable for millennials.

The median income among the millennial generation in Columbus is $38,800 USD, and the city posts a high 2.1% employment growth rate year-over-year. The median home value is $117,900 USD, with a median rent across the metro area of $1,319 USD per month.

3. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, upstate New York

Buffalo in upstate New York has the third-largest share of independent millennials – 14.2% who choose to rent or own alone. In addition, 13.5% of Buffalo homes fall into a realistic price range for Buffalo residents between 25- and 34-years-old.

Buffalo has a median household income of $40,000 USD among millennials who live alone and a 0.6% annual employment growth rate. The median rent in the Buffalo Metro costs $1,302 USD per month, and within Buffalo proper is just $908 USD per month.

2. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh is one of the top cities for millennials

Over 14% of millennials rent alone in Pittsburgh, and 17.2% of homes are affordable for young professionals. The median income of millennials who live alone is $40,000 USD.

Pittsburgh residents of all ages benefit from a 0.2% annual employment growth rate, and a median home value of $111,900 USD. Renting in Pittsburgh is $1,138 USD per month.

1. Richmond, VA

More millennials live independently in Richmond, Virginia than anywhere else

In Richmond, 15% of millennials live solo, in part due to the 15.2% of homes that are affordable in the metro area.

The median income of Richmond’s independent millennial population is a high $49,500 USD per year.Richmond also has a 3.6% year-over-year employment growth rate, helping more millennials find housing on their own without a massive financial burden.

The median home value in Richmond is $155,400 USD, while the median rent in the Richmond Metro is $1,362 USD per month. Richmond residents say the culture in the city is rapidly growing, attracting more renters and home buyers each year. Plus, it’s only 2 hours away from Washington DC.