Five of the Best Cities for Young Professionals in the Northeast

Discover what makes these the top cities for young adults and start a relationship with Citizens Bank in your new location

As a young professional and recent graduate, you may be thinking about relocating to a new city. Whether you're searching for your dream job, a different lifestyle, a manageable cost of living or fun after-hours activities, the Northeast has a variety of cities that are both accessible and appealing to young adults. Use our guide below to learn more about the top cities for young adults and find the best one for you and your career. And if you do decide to move to the Northeast, consider opening a checking account online, like One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®, to manage your money simply and affordably in your new town.

Top Northeastern cities for young adults

From the political scene of Washington, D.C. to the eclectic neighborhoods of Albany, New York, we've outlined five of the best cities for young professionals in the Northeast. We looked at cost of living, strength of the job market, availability of public transportation, and activities and networking opportunities recent grads would enjoy when making our list. Check out what each city has to offer that makes it a favorite for other recent graduates and decide if it's right for you.

  1. Washington, D.C. - America's capital is the 10th greenest city in the U.S., according to The Daily Beast. Plus, it has 800 miles of bikeways and a top transit system with bike pick-ups at over 150 of the stations in the city. Thirty percent of the city's population is between the ages of 20 and 34, which means you'll find a great community of people to network with at its many happy hours. Plus, the city boasts a variety of free activities, like the National Zoo, Screen on the Green summer movies, monuments and museums, as well as free performances at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and more. Unemployment is low, and in 2014, the median salary for a recent grad was $47,600. However, the cost of living is about 21.9% above the national average. If you find a job in D.C. and want to enjoy all it has to offer with a lower cost of living, you may consider moving to one of the neighboring cities like Baltimore.

  2. Hartford, Connecticut - If you're looking for a city where you can easily live and work downtown, this may be the right one for you. But no matter where you live, from downtown to the West End and out into the suburbs, there's no shortage of things to do in Hartford. There are great restaurants and bars, such as the Polish National Home and Spigot Café, as well as historic landmarks to explore, such as the Bushnell Park Carousel. Cost of living is 11.4% higher than the national average, but it's possible to commute to both Boston and New York City in around two hours. Plus, it's near the University of Connecticut if you're pursuing a post-grad education.

  3. Burlington, Vermont - You can get around Burlington by car, rail, ferry, or bike and can explore festivals, events, attractions and more available throughout the city. The cost of living is about 9.5% over the national average, but unemployment is low and there is some job growth. Plus, with the University of Vermont nearby, there will be many other young adults around. For the environmentally-conscious, the city is a sustainability trailblazer, with most restaurants purchasing from local farmers and vendors. And if you like outdoor adventure, there are dozens of recreational activities available, like fishing, hiking, mountain biking, sailing, skiing, swimming, and exploring the beauty of the area.

  4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh is among the U.S.'s most livable cities and can give you an urban feel without a high cost of living; in fact, the cost to live there is 6.4% below the national average. Made up of several smaller neighborhoods, it's easy to find affordable housing just about anywhere. Walk, ride a bike, hop on the bus or drive around the city, but take a Pittsburgh native with you the first time, as navigating can be a bit tricky. There are a variety of free things to do in Pittsburgh, and the city has a diverse selection of restaurants and food trucks waiting to tantalize your taste buds. You can also check out the many museums, including the Andy Warhol museum and the Pittsburgh Conservatory and Botanical gardens. Or, stay in shape by running, walking, or hiking in Emerald View Park, a 257-acre urban park, the newest to join the ranks of Frick Park, Highland, Riverview and Schenley for outdoor adventurers.

  5. Albany, New York - Also made up of smaller neighborhoods surrounding downtown, Albany, the capital of New York State, offers young professionals a unique mix of residential and commercial spaces - and a more affordable opportunity to start out in politics or the private sector as the cost of living is just 1.5% above the national average. Plus, Albany boasts more than 60 parks and recreation areas as well as local festivals and entertainment, like music, sports, professional theater and dance. Outdoor enthusiasts will also find much to appreciate in Albany. Finally, you're only three hours away from New York City or Boston, and a short drive from Cooperstown and Saratoga Springs.

Whether or not you choose to live in one of our choices for the best cities for young professionals, it's still important to create a budget to support yourself as you take on your first job. As you research an area, review average starting salary for your position and cost-of-living expenses such as average rent, utilities, food and entertainment, and commuting. You may also want to include the cost to go home and visit your family before making a decision.

Explore these top cities for young adults with mobile banking and a new Citizens Bank checking account

From finding a place to live and paying for moving costs to managing your funds once you move, you need a bank you can trust to be with you every step of the way during your transition. Let Citizens Bank help you stay on top of your finances in a new city with our One Deposit Checking account. All it takes is one deposit each month to waive the monthly maintenance fee. Plus, our mobile banking can simplify your life on the go. Pay bills, transfer funds, set alerts or send money to anyone from anywhere. Call today and speak to a representative to learn more about how we can help when you relocate.


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