Phoenix among top desired destinations for college graduates
Mar 30, 2022, 4:35 AM
PHOENIX — A new report by Axios and The Generation Lab found Phoenix was among the top places where college students want to live when they graduate.
Students across the country at two-year schools, four-year schools and trade schools were all surveyed. While Seattle, New York City and Los Angeles ranked highest, Phoenix came in at eighth place overall.
“A quarter of folks are staying in their hometowns, a quarter are staying in-state and half are leaving their home state,” Matin Mirramezani, COO of The Generation Lab, said.
He said these decisions take many important factors and life decisions into account.
“[They include] housing affordability, family matters… and consideration of jobs,” Mirramezani said. “Someone might find an opportunity that’s really attractive in a different city from where they want to end up.”
Phoenix in particular ranked better as a desired destination among people with lower incomes. Specifically, the report found it was the fifth-most popular for those making less than $26,000 a year.
Phoenix fell to thirteenth place in the middle tier of $26,000-$80,000 a year, and was absent in the above $80,000 category.
Mirramezani explains that for now, people see Phoenix as a cheaper alternative for those wanting to live a West Coast lifestyle.
“It gets a lot of sunlight every day and it doesn’t have the reputation of being unaffordable that cities in California have,” he said.
“When people think about areas that are really hard to afford, it’s probably San Francisco, LA and maybe even Seattle, compared to areas like Phoenix.”
However, Mirramezani clarifies that this idea is based more on reputation than reality with rising rent and home prices in Phoenix.
“How much [Phoenix’s affordability] really checks out… I think folks in those areas like Phoenix would be better equipped to speak to that,” he said.
In the meantime, Phoenix’s reputation as an affordable West Coast city– coupled with the availability of jobs – means it’s still in play as a popular post-graduation destination.