Perhaps millennials don’t know what’s best for them.
In a recent survey, one-in-five Gen Y-ers said New York is their ideal city, with fewer than 1 percent saying the same of Philadelphia. But research has shown that Philly has outranked its more metropolitan competitors when it comes to qualities millennials say they value.
Abodo, an apartment search site, surveyed 2,000 people born between 1982 and 1998. Respondents were asked to rate 20 qualities, including a thriving job market, rent and housing market affordability, presence of hiking trails and quality of pizza, on a scale of one to 10, from least to greatest importance.
Despite common assertions that millennials are "lazy" or have "lesser work ethic," the top three qualities Generation Y values most are economic in nature: a thriving job market (8.19), affordable rent (7.94) and affordable home prices (7.55), followed by parks or hiking trails (6.52) and nonchain local restaurants (6.49).
When asked to pick a city they thought was the best choice, nearly 20 percent chose New York City. San Francisco came in second, with 10.3 percent, and one in 10 chose the Pacific Northwest, with Seattle and Portland each fetching just above 9 percent.
Philadelphia rang in at No. 17 with 0.89 percent, far below Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.
When analysts broke down the preferred city of each gender and age group, New York ranked No. 1 across all ages and both genders. Philadelphia was found to be in the Top 10 only among respondents aged 18-22. The city actually came in 10th.
Ironically, Philadelphia hit 95 percent of millennials’ criteria, according to Abodo’s compiled research. New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Portland and Seattle all tied at No. 2 with 90 percent.
Based on its research, Abodo found Philly to have a good job market, affordable rent and home prices, quality pizza, walkability, an LGBTQ-friendly community, quality public transportation and a lake, river or beach nearby. The only mark Philly misses is a highly rated public school system.
New York City, by contrast, was found to have neither affordable rent nor a highly rated school system. In fact, the only city determined to have a quality public school system was Seattle.
It's not breaking news that rents in New York City and San Francisco are expensive, but it seems the rate keeps going up.
A study released last month by Smart Asset found residents in NYC need a six-figure salary to live comfortably: an average of $158,229 annually. By contrast, Philadelphians can live comfortably on a $65,100 salary.