Wichita, Kansas, is often referred to as the “Heart of the Country.” But now, it has earned another title – the 12th best place in the United States for young professionals, according to a report from Forbes Advisor. This ranking has been attributed to various factors, including a low cost of rent and home prices, making it an attractive destination for young adults seeking career opportunities and a high quality of life.
The Midwest Dominates
Wichita’s recognition as a top destination for young professionals is part of a broader trend where the Midwest region shines. Forbes Advisor’s report ranks Des Moines, Iowa, as the number one place in the country for young professionals, followed closely by Oklahoma City at number two. This trend underscores the appeal of Midwestern cities for young adults who are looking to establish themselves professionally while enjoying a comfortable and affordable lifestyle.
Susie Santo, the president and CEO at Visit Wichita, emphasized the importance of young professionals in shaping the city’s vibrant community. She stated, “Wichita – the Heart of the Country- is overflowing with passionate people of all ages, and young professionals are especially important in creating a thriving and lively community.”
Forbes Advisor assessed the 100 most populous metropolitan areas across the United States, using ten key metrics grouped into four categories: employment and pay, housing affordability, lifestyle, and cost of living. Wichita stood out in several of these categories:
1. Affordable Housing:
Wichita boasted the fourth-lowest median home price in the nation, with homes priced at an average of $203,900. This affordability has opened doors for many young professionals to become homeowners.
2. Low Rent Costs:
Forbes found that Wichita had the second-lowest average rent in the country, with renters paying an average of just $1,003 per month. This affordability in housing costs allows young professionals to save money and invest in their future.
3. Accessible Homeownership
Wichita was ranked sixth for its low 10% down payment as a percentage of the median individual income, at 58.12%. This accessibility to homeownership is a significant draw for young adults seeking to establish roots in the city.
4. Low Unemployment:
With an unemployment rate of just 3%, Wichita also performed well in terms of employment opportunities, ranking 39th-lowest among the metropolitan areas considered by Forbes.
These factors combine to create an environment that is not only conducive to professional growth but also to an overall high quality of life. Wichita offers a unique blend of affordability, job opportunities, and community engagement, making it an attractive destination for young professionals.
Wichita’s recognition as the 12th best place for young professionals is part of a larger trend where Midwestern cities excel in providing affordable and fulfilling lifestyles. Oklahoma City, which ranked second, was praised for its affordability and small-town feel in a metropolitan area. Kansas City, Missouri, secured the seventh spot, thanks in part to its relatively low average rent prices.
As young professionals continue to seek opportunities and a sense of belonging, cities like Wichita offer an appealing mix of affordability, employment prospects, and a thriving community. This recognition from Forbes Advisor highlights Wichita’s position as a promising destination for those looking to build their careers and futures in the heart of the country.
View the full article from Forbes here.