#10: Lincoln, Neb.
A state smack-dab in the middle of the country — and that most people associate with corn — probably isn’t what comes to mind when grads picture the glamorous journey of setting out on their own.
But, stereotypes aside, Nebraska’s capital has a lot going for it, especially if you’re looking for some new relationships. Lincoln has the second-highest percent of folks in their early twenties (over 10%), along with an above-average percent (out of our sample) that’s never been married.
The cost of living is also 6% below the national average … though that will be reflected in your pay, as the city only comes with an average starting salary of $28,000.
Luckily, unemployment is low at only 3.2% — the second-lowest out of the cities we looked at, bested only by Bismarck. (Remember, the national rate is more than twice that.)
Lincoln also is considered one of the most secure mid-sized locales in the nation — a factor that wasn’t included in our calculations, but is appealing nonetheless.