Lexington 2nd best city in U.S. for new college graduates

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington ranks second in the nation in a recently conducted study by SmartAsset looking at the best cities for new college graduates.

The study analyzed data for the 115 largest U.S. cities, looking specifically at 10 metrics across three categories: jobs, affordability and fun. SmartAsset’s job score includes overall unemployment rate, unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders, average earnings for college graduates and number of job listings on Indeed. The affordability score includes median monthly rent and cost of living and the fun score includes dining and entertainment establishments as a percentage of all establishments, percentage of the population from the ages of 20 to 29, average Yelp rating for restaurants in the area and average Yelp rating for bars in the area.


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“Lexington, Kentucky has the seventh-best fun score and the 17th-best affordability score in the study. Within the category of fun, Lexington placed seventh overall for average Yelp restaurant rating, at 4.08 out of a total of five stars. Within the affordability index, Lexington placed 10th out of 115 for low cost of living. The cost of living in Lexington is $19,526, potentially allowing for more opportunities to save or invest,” the study said of Lexington’s ranking.

The remaining top 10 cities for college graduates in the U.S. featured a strong midwestern contingent with (1) Cincinnati, Ohio; (3) Milwaukee, Wisc.; (4) Nashville, Tenn.; (5) Columbus, Ohio; (6) Kansas City, Missouri; (7) Madison, Wisc.; (8) Indianapolis, Ind.; (9) St. Louis, Missouri; and (10) Birmingham, Ala. Also coming in just outside of the top 10 was Louisville, Ky. at no. 12.

View the full study for details on SmartAsset’s data sources and how they put all the information together to create their final rankings.

college graduates, SmartAsset