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Best State for Millennials? We’re No. 35!

It isn’t every day that this baby boomer thinks about which state is best for millennials — even with a couple in his immediate family.

But a newly released survey from the financial news website WalletHub has taken stock of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and has found that Maryland is way down on the list — 35th to be precise.

D.C. finished No. 2, just behind the “other Washington” in the Pacific Northwest.

“The millennial experience is not the same everywhere,” WalletHub writes.

That appears to be an understatement.

The website used 34 metrics in five broad categories to reach its conclusions.

In the affordability category, taking in such factors as cost of living, average monthly earnings, and the price of a Starbucks latte, Maryland was 45th. The Free State fared much better in the category of education and health, finishing 7th. Those metrics included education attainment, health insurance, smoking and binge drinking rates, depression, and more.

Maryland was 35th in the quality of life category, factoring in such things as millennials as a share of the population, percentage of millennials living with their parents (there are a lot of them in Maryland), singles-friendliness and family-friendliness. When it came to economic health, whose subcategories included millennial unemployment rate, student debt, and share of millennials living in poverty, Maryland was No. 33. And when it came to civic engagement, the state clocked in at No. 40.

Other than the two Washingtons, rounding out the top five as best places for millennials: Utah, Massachusetts and Iowa. The worst state? West Virginia, with New Mexico second-to-last.

Nationwide, millennials are a growing economic force, responsible for 21% of all consumer discretionary spending in the U.S.

“Yet despite millennials’ trillion-dollar purchasing power and higher educational attainment, they are economically worse off than their parents,” WalletHub writes. “Why? The financial crisis remains a big part of the reason. Millennials have come of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the Great Recession, which has significantly reduced their job prospects and earning potential for decades to come. Plus, many millennials are struggling due to financial difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting high rate of unemployment.”

What say you, millennials?

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Best State for Millennials? We’re No. 35!