New York Best City for New College Grads

New York #1, D.C. #2, Philadelphia Ranked Third

April 10, 2013 -- New York City ranks No. 1 among the best cities for new college graduates, according to a list released this week by website Apartment Guide. Washington, D.C, comes in second; Philadelphia placed third.

The ranking, done for Apartment Guide by real estate data analysts OnBoard Informatics, takes into account such lifestyle amenities as bars, restaurants, nightlife and entertainment. It does not take into account the price of rent or job availability.

Other top-10 cities, starting with the fourth most desirable, are: Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas and Portland, Ore. Denver came in last.

Apartment Guide separately surveyed 1,000 respondents aged 18 and older to find out what they value highest when deciding where to live.

"Apartment Guide wanted to know what post-grads were looking for, in their first big move," an Apartment Guide spokesman said. More than 70 percent, according to the survey, said that once they graduate they are planning to move to a different city.

Nearly 80 percent said they would move wherever they could find a job, rather than to the city they would most like to live. More said they were ready to move to a quiet suburb (42 percent) than to a big city (31 percent), to the beach (17 percent) or to the mountains (9 percent).

Most said their choice of an apartment would be dictated by price (61 percent), rather than by location (25 percent), amenities (6 percent) or nearness to family or friends (4 percent). Only 7 percent are looking for a studio; the vast majority (71 percent) are want a one- or two-bedroom. 23 percent want three or more bedrooms.

What types of jobs are they seeking? Only 5 percent say they want a job in finance -- only slightly more than say they want a job in fashion (4 percent). Sixteen percent say they want a job in business and 7 percent say they want a "creative" job.

What new grads want, of course, and what they'll get may be two different things:

A 2011 survey of 503 recent graduates by career services company Adecco found that only 45 percent were living on their own. A third said they were living at home with their parents, and 17 percent said they still were financially dependent on their parents.