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2022 Axios-Generation Lab "Next Cities Index"

The Mount Rushmore of post-college landing spots might see new faces etched into it in the coming years. The usual suspects still have pull: New York, Boston, New York City. But new cities are catching steam: Seattle, Colorado Springs, Austin and Denver all clock into the top 10 of the inaugural Axios-Generation Lab Top City .

Who this covers: There’s a fixed slice of the graduating population that plans to live where they grew up. Then, there’s the “roving” bloc, which looks for fresh ground after getting degreed. Along with Axios, Generation Lab interviewed 1,072 of those “rovers” (2,109 students in total), and here’s what they told us:

And when we drill down by gender, and politics, we see yawning rifts among respondents.

Plus: Hybrid offices have loosened the historical tether from a person to a company’s HQ. So, young people have new liberty in their post-college city pick. Effectively, the hybrid and remote work options have become a bargaining chip to woo top talent.

Watch this space: COVID-19 will shift from 5-alarm fire to endemic challenge. Partisan outlooks will continue to drive non-political behavior. And the job market will likely see at least several surges and tumbles by 2023. Over time, we will see how young people – and specific racial, gender, political and socioeconomic groups – flow into certain cities. The challenge will be to answer why.


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