Two cities in the Tar Heel State were recently recognized as part of the Top 10 Best Cities for Young Professionals by SmartAsset. Their third annual study on the best cities for young professionals named Raleigh No. 6 and Charlotte No. 10 based on nine metrics that encompass economic and livability factors relevant to young professionals. The report studied the 150 largest cities in the U.S., taking into account the percentage of the population between the ages of 25 and 34, unemployment rate for young professionals, labor force participation rate, median gross rent, entertainment establishment density, job diversity, median earnings, five-year change in median earnings and median rent as a percentage of full-time workers’ earnings.
According to the report, earnings and earnings growth remain relatively high in Raleigh compared to last year’s findings using 2016 data. Median income in 2017 was $64,660, more than $6,000 above the national average median income. Moreover, from 2013 to 2017, earnings grew by more than 17%. In comparison, the average earnings growth from 2013 to 2017 for all cities considered in our study was about 15%. However, Raleigh falls short compared to other cities in our top 10 in terms of entertainment establishment density. For entertainment establishment density, it ranks 47th overall, with only 1.56% of businesses dedicated to entertainment in 2016.
Charlotte ranked in the top third of cities for all but one of the nine metrics. In 2017, 18.07% of the population was between the ages of 25 and 34. For that population, the unemployment rate was 3.9%, and labor force participation rate was 87.61%. The median annual income for residents was $61,350. The one metric Charlotte falls short on is rent, ranking 90th. The median gross rent was $1,088 in 2017.
North Carolina also recently ranked a No. 3 State for Business according to CNBC.