Are you just out of college and chasing the American Dream? Then you should head to the Twin Cities.
That is the verdict of The Atlantic, which has combined house price figures with income data and concluded that the Twin Cities offers the best chance for the so-called "millennial" generation to earn more money and live affordably than any other city in the United States.
While the lure of the bright lights of New York or the sandy beaches of California are undeniable, The Atlantic found that the outrageously high cost of property prices many young professionals out of the market.
Vox reports that lower property costs gives the Twin Cities – as one of the five highest-income large metro areas in the country – a major advantage over Greater New York, the San Francisco/Bay Area, DC/Baltimore, and Greater Boston.
"Four of those five metro areas have something in common — they are very expensive places to live," Vox reports. "The Twin Cities are the exception. The $54,304 median household income in Minneapolis carries more purchasing power than the $59,799 median household income in New York."
The latest data from real estate website Trulia found that more than 60 percent of for-sale homes in the Twin Cities are affordable to those with average Metro area incomes.
Data from earlier this year found that Minneapolis had the 8th highest levels of upward mobility – the ability of workers to move from the lower to the middle classes – in the country.
And while Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City have similar levels of upward mobility coupled with affordable housing, Vox notes that the higher overall income enjoyed by Twin Cities residents makes it the best bet for those seeking their fortunes.
Growing movement to attract millennials
The study comes amid a growing focus on the millennial generation – those born between the 1980s and the early 2000s – which USA Today says is transforming the national economy and politics.
Cities across the nation are looking for ways to attract new young professionals, while retaining those already there, given that by 2030 this generation – also known as Generation Y – will make up 75 per cent of the workforce, according to Time.
The push to keep young professionals in the Twin Cities is already at the forefront of the minds of those planning for the future, with economic development body Greater MSP telling the Pioneer Press this week that the cities will need to give millennials the amenities they want – such as transit, affordable homes, parks, bike trails and entertainment.
And even the city of Edina this week justified its controversial plans to introduce sidewalks on residential streets as a way of appealing to millennials.
But the combination of skilled jobs, high income, cheap housing and a vibrant culture means the Twin Cities has a head-start on the rest of the United States in ensuring the local economy continues to thrive in the coming decades.