By Taylor Tepper
May 11, 2017

There are certain things that as a new college graduate you have little control over, such as when you’re forced to join the real world. If you happened to graduate in 2008 as I did — when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs while the stock and housing markets were collapsing — you were somewhat out of luck.

Still, there were things you could have done to improve your financial odds even in the Great Recession, such as picking a city with the best odds of finding a good-paying job and an affordable place to live.

Which begs the question: Where are those cities for young grads today?

The real estate site Trulia and the careers site Indeed have teamed up to look at which cities provide the best combination of affordable rental properties and the types of jobs that typically employ new grads.

Their conclusion: Finding the ideal place to work and live is tricky, because the market in which you might find the best-paying jobs may also happen to be too pricey for a 22-year-old to afford rent.

Take the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif. metro area. That region of the Silicon Valley had the highest percentage of jobs that were amenable to those right out of college. Almost a third of all postings in San Jose were “grad-friendly,” and recent grads could expect to earn around $3,333 a month — the second highest median personal income in the country, just behind the Washington, DC/Arlington, VA market.

Trouble is, all of that economic activity has dramatically driven up demand and prices for homes and apartments. In the San Jose market, new grads can only afford 2.5% of the available rental listings in the area.

“Do new grads have to choose between a paycheck in their pocket or a roof over their head? To an extent, yes,” wrote Indeed and Trulia’s chief economists Jed Kolko and Ralph McLaughlin, the study’s authors.

Yet the researchers note that there are some “sweet spots” that offer the best of both worlds. These goldilocks towns, according to the report, include Seattle, Hartford, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Dayton.

MONEY took the data from the survey and organized it a bit differently.

We eliminated any location where less than than 10% of the housing market was accessible to new grads, and then looked at the top job markets among the remaining towns on the list.

Here are the Top 50 of those markets, ranked in order of median monthly income.

1. Houston-The Woodlands- Sugar Land, TX

Historic Houston heights shopping district, Houston, TX, March 2017
Stephanie Sellers—Alamy

Monthly Income: $3,188

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.7%


2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Green Dragon M-Lines vintage trolley, McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas
Mark Summerfield—Alamy

Monthly Income: $2,925

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 11.1%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.5%


3. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

At the waterfront of Hartford, Connecticut.
Sean Pavone—Alamy

Monthly Income: $2,890

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 13.3%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 19.4%


4. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore, Maryland, downtown cityscape at dusk.
Sean Pavone—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Monthly Income: $2,882

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 13.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings:19.9%


5. Kansas City, MO-KS

An archway marks the entrance to the Kansas City, Missouri River Market. The historic market dates back to the 1850s, when the area was known as Westport Landing and was used for trading goods coming off riverboats along the Missouri River. It now houses a permanent produce market, restaurants, and a large weekly farmer's market.
Michael Russell—Getty Images

Monthly Income: $2,753

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 35.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.6%


6. Jacksonville, FL

The San Marco district of Jacksonville during the San Marco Art Festival in November 2013, Florida.
Ian G. Dagnall—Alamy

Monthly Income: $2,724

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 17.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.2%


7. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Monthly Income: $2,713

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 10.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 19.5%


8. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

Monthly Income: $2,713

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 23.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.4%


9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Monthly Income: $2,635

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 13.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 18.1%


10. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Monthly Income: $2,635

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.5%


11. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

Monthly Income: $2,635

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 27.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.1%


12. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

Monthly Income: $2,635

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 17.1%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.8%


13. Baton Rouge, LA

Monthly Income: $2,632

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.6%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.5%


14. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Monthly Income: $2,583

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 17.5%


15. Raleigh, NC

Monthly Income: $2,581

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 9.8%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 19.3%


16. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Monthly Income: $2,581

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 39.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 18.9%


17. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Monthly Income: $2,581

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 12.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings:17.3%


18. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Monthly Income: $2,581

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.6%


19. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Monthly Income: $2,581

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.6%


20. Columbus, OH

Monthly Income: $2,545

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 22.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.1%


21. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Monthly Income: $2,544

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 17.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 17.3%


22. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

Monthly Income: $2,544

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 11.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings:13.9%


23. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Monthly Income: $2,539

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 10%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 19.8%


24. Pittsburgh, PA

Monthly Income: $2,527

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 27.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.2%


25. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

Monthly Income: $2,525

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 12.8%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.2%


26. Dayton, OH

Monthly Income: $2,503

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 42.8%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.6%


27. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Monthly Income: $2,503

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 10.3%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.1%


28. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

Monthly Income: $2,503

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 12.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 13.8%


29. Richmond, VA

Monthly Income: $2,500

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 19.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.9%


30. Bakersfield, CA

Monthly Income: $2,481

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 29.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.8%


31. St. Louis MO-IL

Monthly Income: $2,459

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 32.3%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15%


32. Memphis, TN-MS-AR

Monthly Income: $2,447

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 28.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.3%


33. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Monthly Income: $2,447

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 30.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.5%


34. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Monthly Income: $2,419

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 13.8%


35. Oklahoma City, OK

Monthly Income: $2,333

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 20.3%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 13.7%


36. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

Monthly Income: $2,330

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 17.1%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14%


37. Madison, WI

Monthly Income: $2,311

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.3%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.8%


38. Modesto, CA

Monthly Income: $2,256

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 20.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.4%


39. Jackson, MS

Monthly Income: $2,250

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 24.1%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.2%


40. Rochester, NY

Monthly Income: $2,198

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.4%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16%


41. Columbia, SC

Monthly Income: $2,151

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 14.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.1%


42. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ

Monthly Income: $2,111

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 13.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.5%


43. Syracuse, NY

Monthly Income: $2,100

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 17.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.8%


44. Greensboro-High Point, NC

Monthly Income: $2,083

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.7%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14%


45. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Monthly Income: $2,065

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 16.1%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.8%


46. Tucson, AZ

Monthly Income: $2,065

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 14.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.4%


47. Fresno, CA

Monthly Income: $1,917

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 10.9%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 14.9%


48. Albuquerque, NM

Monthly Income: $1,847

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 14.2%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 13.9%


49. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

Monthly Income: $1,844

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 11.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.3%


50. Boise City, ID

Monthly Income: $1,780

Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 15.5%

Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 15.5%

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