Millennial Cities Ranking 2017


Millennials are often defined by their affinity with technology, their entrepreneurial mindset, and their revitalising effects on cities. For all their positive attributes, this demographic is also well-documented for their highly expectant standards, and will not stay long in a location that doesn’t match their criteria.

Each year, students and young professionals flock from their home towns, suburbs and villages to find work and apartments in vibrant cities. But which cities actually offer the most for millennials? At Nestpick, we help people of all ages relocate to some of the most exciting cities in the world, and our role has given us key insights into not only the migration patterns of millennials, but also the potential suitability of cities for the demographic. We studied thousands of cities to hand-pick 100 places considered to be millennial dream destinations. We then ranked them by relevant factors to compile the ultimate Millennial City Ranking.

In order for a city to rank highly, we determined that it must have a thriving business eco structure, allow affordable access to the essentials that young people need to survive, have a sense of openness and tolerance that is increasingly prevalent in the 21st century, and lastly, offer a chance for millennials to kick back and relax. The results reveal the definitive list of the best cities for Millennials this 2017.

“Millennials travel more at a younger age than any of their preceding generations; this gives them the possibility to find the perfect city for their personal needs” said Ömer Kücükdere Managing Director at Nestpick. “With aging populations cities must cater to the Millennial demographic in order to sustain a thriving economy.”

This mobile generation’s skills are up for grabs for any cities that can cater to their desires. The destinations below are the cities we have calculated that are doing the best jobs.

Learn more about which millennial-friendly cities Nestpick offers! Munich apartments in the south of Germany get snapped up quickly by students and young professionals. Although apartments in Paris can be a bit pricey, Lisbon apartments, on the other hand, are often much more affordable.

Rank Location Business Ecosystem The Essentials Equality Recreation Total
Rank City Country Total

We understand that all of the categories in this study are very different. However, in order to standardize our results and create a comprehensive score, all of the different factors have been evenly ranked between 0 and 10. This score is obtained directly from the raw data and implementing a normalization of the form:

Score(i) = 10 . ( ( (x(i) - x(min) ) / ( (x(max) - x(min) ) )

Business Ecosystem

A thriving business ecosystem supports a growing millennial community. One of the characteristics of the age group is that in tends to gravitate towards cities with higher start-up funding.

Employment Score - Before moving somewhere, savvy Millennials make sure that working is an available option. Often, young people relocate for the purpose of increasing their employment opportunities or for professional advancement, therefore the possibility of gainful employment was selected as a crucial factor in the millennial city ranking.

The employment score was calculated based on unemployment data from the OECD, with the lowest unemployment rate equating to the best employment score.

Startup Score - As digital natives, Millennials make up a large part of the startup scene and the startup scene offers a unique appeal to Millennials.

The startup score was calculated by dividing the population by the total number of startup companies. Using business registration data from each individual city. We divided the number of startups by population to represent how accessible jobs may be for citizens. We found through doing this that cities which are sometimes synonymous with startup culture did not always rank so well.

Tourist Score - High levels of tourism within a city not only offers entry level jobs to all age groups, but attracts younger crowds, looking to explore popular cities. Travelling to a city is also one of the first steps to relocating there, and as such is an essential for Millennials.

The tourism ranking was calculated based on the number of overnight stays in each city, on the age group 18 to 35 yrs. using data from the UNWTO.

The Essentials

These factors were considered essential for Millennials to survive and enjoy a good quality of life in the city.

Housing Score - Affordable rent is one of the hot topics for Millennials today. With rent ever increasing and salaries not so much, affordable housing is a huge draw for Millennials.

The London Governing Authority recommends that one person needs a minimum of 39 square metres for their living space. To produce our Housing Score, we used rental listings from each city to find out the monthly cost of renting 39 square metres, and then ranked the cities from most affordable to most expensive.

Transport Score - The number of Millennials who use cars is decreasing. Yet they still need to be able to get around a city easily to commute to work, to travel to meet friends at a reasonable cost.

The transport score factored in the length of the metro network, the number of metro stops, the length of the tram network and the number of tram lines per capita. It also considered the availability of Uber, and the existence of a bike-sharing scheme.

Health Ranking - Millennials are highly health conscious, and access to decent healthcare and fitness options are important to this demographic.

The health ranking was calculated based on The World Health Report conducted by the UN.

Food Ranking - Everyone’s gotta eat!

The food ranking was calculated based upon the affordability of a monthly cost of food, with data provided by Expatistan and reviewed individually for each city in the ranking.

Internet Speed Ranking - As digital natives, having widely available access to fast internet is essential for Millennials, both socially and for work.

The internet speed ranking was produced based on data provided by internet providers in each of the respective cities.

Apple Store Score - While Apple is not the most widely used technology brand, iconically, it is one of the brands Millennials most associate with. The number of stores in a city shows not only how easy access to technical support is for citizens, but it is also an indication of how technologically engaged a population is; the more investment in Apple products is a good indicator for investment in technology goods overall. The Apple Store score was calculated based on the number of Apple Stores per capita.


Millennials are defined by their tolerant, open and live-and-let-live mind sets.

The Access to Contraception - Being highly educated about sexual health, having access contraception when it is needed is a necessity for Millennials.

The Access to Contraception score was based on Model-Based Estimates and Projections Of Family Planning Indicators 2016 produced by the UN.

Gender Equality ranking - Believing that one gender is superior to another is an outdated concept for Millennials.

The Gender Equality ranking was based upon The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 by the World Economic Forum.

Immigration Tolerance - It’s been well reported that the demographic are far more tolerant than previous generations when it comes to immigration. When moving to different cities, potentially abroad, millennials will also be better accepted in a city with high immigration tolerance.

The Immigration Tolerance ranking was taken from the 2016 Social Progress Index conducted by The Social Progress Imperative

The LGBT Friendliness Score - The majority of Millennials have a hard time comprehending a lack of tolerance for another person’s preference.

The LGBT friendliness score was based upon independent research and data from ILGA Annual Rainbow Report. We also took into account legislation as well as society acceptance and inclusion.


Work hard, play hard.

The Nightscene Ranking - Because of their age, Millennials are the driving force of the night scene.

The Night Scene Ranking considers the number of clubs and the opening times.

The Beer Score - While everyone likes to relax with a beer, Millennials are price sensitive therefore we measured this factor by affordability.

The Beer Score was ranked based upon the affordability of 500ml domestic beer in a bar in each city. We took the price from 20 different bars including bars within same brand hotels to have a comparable price.

The Festival Score - Where Millennials go to relax after a year of hustling and side hustling and long hours working in a start up.

The Festival Score was ranked based upon the number of annual music festivals per capita in and around the city ranked.

City populations are taken from the number of citizens living in the city proper, not the surrounding metropolitan area.