Are we still making fun of millennials or have we finally moved on to giving Gen Z a hard time? Either way, millennials, or technically Generation Y, are the leading generation in buying power and social influence. This group's ages range from the mid-20s to early-40s and have recently overtaken the Baby Boomer generation in 2019, according to WalletHub.

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Coming up in the workforce, millennials dealt with stereotypes (being entitled, emotionally fragile, dependent on parents, etc.), the Great Recession, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding a job in many places has been difficult for this generation but some states have better job markets for millennials than others.

Recently, our friends at WalletHub released their list of 2022's Best & Worst States for Millennials to hopefully show places that are currently better suited for this generation. For the purpose of this study, “millennials” are defined as individuals who were born between 1981 and 1996.

In order to determine the best and worst states for millennials, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key dimensions:

  1. Affordability
  2. Education & Health
  3. Quality of Life
  4. Economic Health
  5. Civic Engagement.

WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 34 relevant metrics, did some fancy math, and then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics. This calculated their overall scores resulting in 2022's Best & Worst States for Millennials.

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub found that in general, much of the Midwest is best suited for those in the millennial generation. Taking a closer look, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all landed in the top 10. Iowa was not far behind those three states and landed just outside of the top 10.

Here is how Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa all ranked on this list:

  • Illinois - #5
    • Affordability: #2
    • Education & Health: #4
    • Quality of Life: #8
    • Economic Health: #46
    • Civic Engagement: #18
    • Overall score: 60.28
  • Minnesota- #6
    • Affordability: #12
    • Education & Health: #16
    • Quality of Life: #6
    • Economic Health: #18
    • Civic Engagement: #27
    • Overall score: 60.22
  • Wisconsin- #8
    • Affordability: #21
    • Education & Health: #24
    • Quality of Life: #12
    • Economic Health: #31
    • Civic Engagement: #1
    • Overall score: 58.68
  • Iowa- #12
    • Affordability: #5
    • Education & Health: #25
    • Quality of Life: #23
    • Economic Health: #29
    • Civic Engagement: #5
    • Overall score: 56.59

Some other statistics that came out of WalletHub's study include:

  • Iowa is #1 in Lowest Housing Costs for Millennials
  • Iowa is #2 in Millennial Homeownership Rate
  • Wisconsin is #4 in the Millennial Unemployment Rate
  • Minnesota is #4 in % of Millennials with Health-Insurance Coverage
  • Illinois is #2 in the Lowest % of Millennials with Depression
  • Iowa is #5 in the Lowest % of Millennials Living with Parents

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