Worst Cities for College Graduates

A profile of some of the least desirable cities for the post-college population.

Photo: Thinkstock

While the “best” and “worst” place for you to live is largely a subjective matter, you should be aware of some of the locations across the United States that have higher unemployment rates, a low percentage of college graduates and a less-than-stellar social scene.

Don’t take this list as a sign that you should ignore these cities completely.

Worst Cities for College Grads

Nevertheless, the following compilation of the worst cities for college grads is by no means absolute. If you’re set on living in one of these cities, don’t let this article scare you away. Just be aware of the challenges that may face you in regards to finding a job and living comfortably.

  • Detroit: Both the unemployment and crime rates are high, an undesirable combination for college graduates. In some areas of the city, unemployment is as high as 50 percent.
  • Cleveland: For the past decade, Cleveland’s population has decreased every year. With this comes a sterile job market, as unemployment has consistently been above 10 percent. Combined with the frigid winters that accompany this lakeshore community, you may want to consider a different city if you’re looking at the Midwest.
  • Orlando, Fla.: Orlando boasts one of the lowest percentages of recent college grads, with a mere 26 percent. This is nearly half of Washington, D.C., in which 47 percent comprises college grads.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.: According to a 2007 study, only Detroit had a higher unemployment rate than Milwaukee. Additionally, the study found that much of the population is segregated, making it hard to find new friends or increase diversity among social circles.
  • New York City: New York can be considered the best and worst city in America, depending on your preferences. However, it’s indisputable that the Big Apple faces increasing unemployment and crime rates, the highest cost of living in the country and a generally grimy atmosphere.

Again, don’t take this list as a sign that you should ignore these cities completely. Plenty of young adults move to these cities and find ways to live prosperous lives, despite what statistics say. However, do your research and understand that moving to one of these locations may pose challenges you wouldn’t face in other parts of the country.

People Who Ready This Article Also Read:

Volunteering in College
Best Cities for Internships
How to Find Internships for College Credit
How to Get an Internship

See All Finding the Right College Articles


Visit Our Student Center

Get on track!

Visit our Student Center

And find out everything you need to know about planning for college.