Countries With the Best Prospects for Young Professionals
With the cost of living increasing in most countries worldwide, having a career ensuring financial stability is essential. However, depending on where you live, the job market can differ vastly, from industry to industry. This can make it difficult to find a fulfilling career that also pays what you deserve.
As a young adult, important choices are rapidly piled up in front of you. Which subject should you choose to major in? What do you want to do with that degree? Be sure to use our job search tool to aid in finding your dream job!
So, which countries are the most desirable to live in for a young professional? We at Lensa, have looked at job availability, cost of living, rent prices for a one-bedroom apartment, and average income to determine the global hotspots for you!
The Best Global Hotspots for Young Professionals
- United States
Young Professional Hotspot Score: 6.66/10
The United States comes out on top for the best location for young professionals to live. The US ranked well for multiple factors, including job availability, activities for young professionals, and average annual income. Though, with good job prospects, plenty to do, and good pay, the US also has a relatively high cost of living index score.
Young Professional Hotspot Score: 6.42/10
Luxembourg is a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany, perfectly located for exploring Europe. On top of this, Luxembourg ranked in the top three for job availability and had a top five ranking for their average annual salary. Furthermore, Luxembourg also has a large foreign population, meaning that many different languages are spoken. This makes Luxembourg a very culturally diverse country and potentially an easier transition.
Young Professional Hotspot Score: 6.08/10
Located in the region of Transylvania, for all the Dracula fans, we have Romania with an overall score of 6.28 across all factors. The country boasts an even lower cost of living index than Portugal and a lower average rent cost for a city center apartment, at $354. However, the average annual salary was much lower and there is less job availability, per 100,000 compared to other locations.
Countries With the Highest Job Availability
For this section, we used a variety of sources to compile a list of the best jobs for young professionals. We then looked at the availability of these jobs from country to country and worked out job availability per 100,000, to see which location was best.
Jobs Available per 100,000: 466
Singapore, in Southeastern Asia, comes out on top for job availability. It’s a linguistically diverse country, having four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, which could make a transition here much easier. Singapore had 466 jobs available, per 100,000 of its population. The jobs with particularly high availability were web developers and software developers, with thousands of vacant positions.
Jobs Available per 100,000: 135
Officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this land-locked central European country shares borders with Belgium, France, and Germany. It also serves as one of the institutional seats of the European Union. A large decrease from the job wealth in Singapore, Luxembourg had 135 jobs available per 100,000. Web developers and software developers were in high demand, as well as sound engineers.
- United States
Jobs Available per 100,000: 121
The United States has always been known to have one of the largest economies in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product of approximately 20.49 trillion. Automotive technicians and software developers were the two jobs in highest demand, as of 2022. In total, there were more than 400,000 jobs available from the job titles we looked at, which was 121 per 100,000 of the United States population.
Countries with the highest average annual salary
Average Annual Salary 2021: $90,360
Switzerland is a landlocked country, at the junction of Central, Western, and Southern Europe. The latest data shows that in 2021, Switzerland had an average annual salary of $90,360. This sum is sure to benefit young professionals, as the country also ranked highest on the cost of living index, of those we looked at.
Average Annual Salary 2021: $84,090
Next, we have the Scandinavian country of Norway, with its many, many, fjords and other sources of natural beauty. For the cost of living index, Norway ranked the third-highest. And with an average monthly rental cost of $1,040 for an apartment in a city center, indicating that living in Norway is not so cheap. However, the average annual salary is $84,090, to help combat those higher costs.
Average Annual Salary 2021: $81,110
As well as having a good amount of jobs available, as per the country’s population, Luxembourg also has one of the highest average annual salaries. At an average of $81,110 per annum for 2021, financially Luxembourg appears to be a great option. However, rent prices can be expensive, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costing an average of $1,713 per month.
Countries With the Lowest Cost of Living Index Score
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 28.38
Turkey is a transcontinental country, sitting partway in both Asia and Europe’s Balkan region and Istanbul is the country’s capital and financial center. The cost of living score for Turkey is 28.38, this index score includes the cost of groceries, utilities, transportation, and restaurants. However, Turkey also had one of the lowest average annual salaries, at just $9,830.
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 32.13
Located in the southern half of South America, Argentina is the second largest country on that continent. Its cost of living index score was 32.13, however like Turkey, the country has one of the lowest average annual incomes at $10,050 for 2021.
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 33.62
Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, this archipelagic country is located in Southeast Asia, and in the West of the Pacific Ocean. As before, the Philippines has a low average annual salary, in fact, it had the lowest of each country we looked at. However, their cost of living was also low, scoring 33.62 on the cost of living index, which should make things more manageable.
Countries With the Lowest Rental Costs for City Center Apartments
Average Monthly Rent of One-bedroom Apartment (City Center): $233
Having already shown to have low costs of living, Argentina also has the lowest average monthly rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment, located in the city center. At $233 per month on average, that is an astonishingly low price for a city center apartment.
Average Monthly Rent of 1 Bedroom Apartment (City Center): $236
This transcontinental country is also proving to be one of the cheapest to live in. With the best score on the cost of living index, Turkey also has affordable city center apartment costs. With the average cost of just $236 per month, that should be very affordable, despite the lower average annual salary.
Average Monthly Rent of 1 Bedroom Apartment (City Center): $336
The Philippines may have a low cost of living, but it also had the lowest average annual salary for 2021, of the countries we looked at. And while the cost of renting a single-bedroom apartment for one month is one of the lowest, one might wonder if it’s low enough to justify the potentially lower salary.
Countries With The Highest Percentage of Activities for Young Professionals
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 16.63%
Italy is located in the South of Europe, stretching across the Mediterranean Sea with several islands surrounding it. It is the third most populous state in the European Union. Overall, Italy had an average percentage of 16.63% for different activities for young professionals, with nightlife activities and sights and landmark activities having a high percentage.
- United States
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 14.47%
The United States has plenty to do, where the young professional is concerned. The US has an overall average percentage of 14.47% of such activities out of the total 100,000 things to do, as per Trip Advisor. Once again, nightlife as well as sights and landmark activities make up the majority.
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 13.03%
Japan is located in East Asia and as an island country, it is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, it is the eleventh most populous country in the world. With an overall percentage of 13.03% for activities for young professionals, you can find plenty to do in your downtime.
The Best US States for Young Professionals
Young Professional Hotspot Score (US): 7.25/10
Kansas, located in the Midwestern region of the United States and being completely landlocked, comes out on top as the best state for young professionals in the US. Having a low cost of living index score as well as a low fair market rental cost, Kansas is one of the cheaper states to live in. It also has plenty for the young professional to do in their off-time, however, it did in the bottom half for job availability, with 79 jobs available per 100,000.
Young Professional Hotspot Score (US): 7.02/10
Nebraska is a state with plentiful and rich farmland, which saw it become one of the United States agricultural powerhouses. This state ranked 24th for job availability, securing a top half placement, and also ranked very high for young professional activities, giving a perfect work and social life balance. Nebraska also had the 5th lowest average fair market rental price.
Young Professional Hotspot Score (US): 6.61/10
Ohio, a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States and the seventh-most populous state, is the third-best state for young professionals. It has an identical job availability per 100,000 with Nebraska, plus it comes in the top fifteen for lowest rent and cost of living, as well as the most activities for young professionals.
US States With The Highest Job Availability
Jobs Available per 100,000: 217
Washington state, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has the best job availability of all the states. With 217 jobs per 100,000 people, from the job titles we looked at, there was good availability for automotive technicians, software developers and dental hygienists. With that said, the employment prospects look great for this US state.
Jobs Available per 100,000: 202
Virginia lies in both the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian mountains. Virginia had 17,682 total jobs available, from the job titles we looked at, coming out at 202 jobs per 100,000 of the population. Again, automotive technicians and software developers were in high demand, however, dental hygienists and physical therapy assistants also have good availability.
Jobs Available per 100,000: 194
The most populous state in the New England region of the United States, Massachusetts is in the Northeast of the US and borders the Atlantic coast. With automotive technicians, software developers, and web developers having good availability, there were plenty of roles available in other fields. Biological technicians, dental hygienists, and physical therapy assistants were among other titles with good availability.
US States With The Highest Mean Annual Salary
Mean Annual Salary 2021: $72,940
Having already ranked in the top three for job availability, Massachusetts looks like an even better location for young professionals. Now it ranks as the state with the highest mean annual salary, at just under $73,000 as of 2021.
- New York
Mean Annual Salary 2021: $70,460
New York, the state located in the Northeastern region of the United States, is best known for being the home of New York City and Niagara Falls. However, it also has one of the highest mean annual salaries in the US, at over $70,000 for 2021. However, it also ranked as having a high cost of living.
Mean Annual Salary 2021: $68,740
Next, over to the west coast with Washington state, which has also already ranked well for having high job availability. This state had a mean annual salary of a bit under $69,000 for 2021.
US States With The Lowest Cost of Living Index Score
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 83.3
Mississippi is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordering the Gulf of Mexico and several other states. Mississippi ranks as having the lowest cost of living, however, it also has ranked as the state with the lowest average annual income at $42,700 for 2021.
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 86.5
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Kansas is cheaper to live in than the average state, with goods and services costing around 10% less than the nationwide average. However, while having a low cost of living index score, it ranked in the lower half of states for average annual income.
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 87.9
Oklahoma is located in the South Central region of the United States, it’s bordered by Texas on both its south and western sides. As with the previous states in this ranking, while it has a low cost of living index score, Oklahoma ranked 41st for their average annual salary.
Cost of Living Index Score 2022: 87.9
Another southern state, Alabama is located in the Southeastern region of the United States and is home to many Civil Rights landmarks. Having the same cost of living index score as Oklahoma, Alabama also ranked a few places lower for its average annual salary.
US States With The Lowest Average Fair Market Rental Cost
Average Fair Market Rental 2022: $752
Arkansas is located in the South of the United States, bordering the Mississippi River, and is known for its abundance of wilderness areas. The average fair market rental price for the state is $752 per month, as of 2022. However, Arkansas also has the third lowest average annual salary.
Average Fair Market Rental 2022: $795
We have yet another state from the South of the United States, with Kentucky, which has the Ohio River to its north and the Appalachian Mountains to its east. The average fair market rental price was $795 per month, as of 2022.
Average Fair Market Rental 2022: $800
Next, it’s the state with the lowest cost of living index score, Mississippi. The state had an average fair market rental price of $800 per month, however, it also had the lowest average annual salary at $42,700.
US States With The Highest Percentage of Activities for Young Professionals
- North Dakota
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 11.75%
North Dakota is located in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Canada. The state is dominated by a vast amount of the Great Plains. With 16.68% of all activities being nightlife-focused, there is plenty for young professionals to occupy themselves with. There is also a vast amount of landmark and sight activities in the state.
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 9.12%
Iowa is another state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It sits between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and is known for its landscape of expansive plains and cornfields. As before, there are plenty of nightlife, sights, and landmark activities for one to occupy their time with. As well as a fair amount of show and concert activities.
Average Percentage of Young Professional Activities: 9.04%
Rounding out the top three is a third state from the Midwestern region of the United States, Nebraska. This state houses the prairies of the Great Plains, towering dunes of the Sandhills, and the rock formations of the panhandle. Of the top three, Nebraska has the highest amount of show and concert activities, at 3.05% of the 1,244 total activities in the state.
To begin, we made our list of countries using The World Population Review’s list of the most developed countries. Some were omitted, due to there being a lack of data. We then used The World Population Review again to get the US states and their populations.
We then built a list of the best jobs for young professionals, using the Wall St. Watchdog and CNBC. We then used Indeed’s individual country pages to search each job title, to get the total number of jobs available. We then took the population for each country, using The World Bank, and the US State population then calculated the total number of available jobs per 100,000 for each country and US State.
For the average annual income, we used World Data for the countries, which has the average annual income by year or month for the year 2021. For the US States, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which gives the average annual income for each state as of May 2021.
We took the cost of living index scores from Numbeo for each country. This score reflects the relative price of goods, including utilities, groceries, transportation, and restaurants. It does not include housing costs, such as rent or mortgage payments. This data was from 2022, mid-year. We then used The World Population Review to get the cost of living index scores for each US State.
We also used Numbeo for the average monthly rental costs for one-bedroom apartments located in the city center. For the US States, however, we used HUD User to get the Fair Market Rental cost for various counties in each state, allowing us to calculate a state average.
For the activities, we used TripAdvisor for each country and US State. We looked at nightlife, events (cultural events), concert and show activities, and sights and landmark activities.
And finally, for the Young Professional Hotspot score, we used each of the factors to give all of the countries a score out of 10.