When many think Millenials, Portland often comes to mind. Young professionals in Portland have become synonymous with what we think of today about our amazing progressive city. Nationally, millennials now account for 35% of the labor force and they are becoming a powerful force within the economic framework of this country.

But did you know that Portland is now ranked as a top young professional city in the USA?

Portland Ranked 14th Top Young Professional City

In the third annual study recently released by SmartAsset, Portland just missed the top ten list of top young professional cities. The 2018 version of the study had Portland ranked all the way down at the 20th spot, but this year showed that Portland is a rising star among young professionals. So let’s take a look at how they determined the rankings.

The study looks at several different factors in order to rank cities across the country. Things such as the percentage of adults ages 25 to 24, the unemployment rate, median rent costs, median earnings, and 5-year income changes are some of the key factors which are considered. A total of 9 metrics were analyzed that covered both economic and livability factors relevant to young professionals. So not only were the cost of living and income evaluated, but also things like entertainment in order to find a true rating criterion.

Portland and Young Professionals

Here is how the key metric data came out for Portland:

Percentage of adults ages 25 to 34: 19.9%

Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

Median Rent: $1,216 per month

Median Earnings: $66,187 per year

5 Year Income Change: 19.1% increase

Now let’s look at the difference between the Portland numbers and Sioux Falls South Dakota which captured the top spot nationally.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota took the top spot for the third year in a row as the number one best city for young professionals. This was due to Sioux Falls ranking in the top 40% of cities across all but one metric, not the least of which is that the city is extremely affordable. Though Sioux Falls has a smaller percentage of its population in the target 25-34 age group at 16.8%, they have a lower unemployment rate of just 3.2%, yet their median earnings were comparable at $61,915, especially when you consider the much lower cost of living. Even the 5 year income change was higher than Portland at over 21%. But the main factor that drove Sioux Falls so much higher than Portland in the rankings was likely due to the drastically lower median rent cost of just $781 per month.

What we found very interesting about the rankings this year was the fact that there were no cities in the Northeast. In fact, there were no Northeastern cities ranked in the top 40 cities for young professionals. We guess that we just do it better here out West.

Why Are Young Professionals In Portland Already?

Outdoors – With so many year-round outdoor activities from hiking to biking, skiing and even easy access to the coast, Portland just has it all. We love the outdoors here and that attracts new young professionals who do as well, but most importantly it tends to keep our talent here to begin with.

Tech Culture – With so many technology start-ups and even larger technology companies in and around Portland, young millennials find it a better and more cost-effective location over the likes of San Francisco.

Business – Whether it be in apparel or another big business industry, Portland has them all covered. We have enough business going on that young professionals are finding Portland a great option.

Hip – Whether you call it hip, cool or weird, you will find your place in Portland. We keep it weird and offer style, entertainment, and a lifestyle for just about any personality.

Coffee – Then there’s the coffee culture. Coffee is something that many millennials have also gravitated to, like many Portlanders. So it does hurt that the Portland coffee culture is second to none in the country.

Whether Portland was recently ranked as a top young professional city or not, we already were one. But having the validation and the year over year increase in rank just solidifies to the world what we already knew in our hearts. So if you’re a young professional looking for the perfect place to live, come check out Portland and we will show you what we are really about.