Between crushing student debt and a staggering 13.9 percent unemployment rate, there's no denying the recession has been unkind to America's young adults.
Even so, we may be putting too much focus on the big picture when it comes to gauging how badly young people are faring, says MoneyRates.com financial analyst Richard Barrington.
"There are so many stories about how difficult conditions are for young adults ... but one thing that we know is that conditions vary greatly from state to state," Barrington told Business Insider. "Probably the clearest example of that is the unemployment rate. While it's steadily remained around 9 percent nationally, in some states it's under 5 percent."
In a new study that hones in on where 20-24 year olds have the best shot at thriving in today's economy, Barrington analyzed 9 key lifestyle factors in all 50 states––including youth unemployment, education costs, car insurance, housing, nightlife, and overall healthfulness.
10. New Hampshire
You'll pay more to attend a four-year university in New Hampshire, but cash-strapped college grads can take comfort in its decent employment rate for young workers.
"Despite scoring high on the availability of bars, fitness clubs and youth-oriented stores, New Hampshire's population is relatively low on young adults," Barrington says. "That's a pity, because unemployment for that demographic is relatively low there."
Youth unemployment rate: 8.7%
Percentage of population aged 20-24: 9.3%
Average car insurance rate: $1,631
Average cost of higher education: $26,234
Median rental cost: $918
With nearly more than 11 percent of its residents in the 20-24 year age bracket, Utah has far more going for it than stunning scenery.
"While not great on most lifestyle factors, Utah has very low unemployment among young adults, and the lowest average cost of four-year colleges," Barrington says.
Youth unemployment rate: 8.5%
Percentage of population aged 20-24: 11.51%
Average car insurance rate: $1,733
Average cost of higher education: $5,745
Median rental cost: $793
"Since it is one of the most youthful states in the country, perhaps it should be no surprise that Alaska offers some attractive stats in most of the lifestyle categories," says Barrington.
"The tough part is finding a place to live: According to the Census Bureau, Alaska has the nation's lowest rental vacancy rate."
Youth unemployment rate: 12.80%
Percentage of population aged 20-24: 10.54%
Average car insurance rate: $1,925
Average cost of higher education: $15,431
Median rental cost: $1,007
See the rest of the story at Business Insider