15 Worst States in America for Young Adults

sad woman grasping her head, states hard for young adults

Struggling young woman | iStock.com

The Great Recession struck at precisely the wrong time for young adults trying to secure their economic futures. People in their early 20s suffered unemployment rates far above the national level while shouldering record amounts of student debt. More than seven years after the recession technically ended, the struggles continue and are more evident in certain states.

Which states leave young adults suffering the most? A recent report from MoneyRates.com seeks to answer that question by evaluating all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the following factors:

  • Youth unemployment
  • Youthfulness of the population
  • Tuition costs
  • Rental costs
  • Rental availability
  • Access to high-speed broadband
  • Number of bars and other nightspots per capita
  • Number of fitness facilities per capita

“Obviously, different people have different tastes and different opinions on what makes a state attractive. However, some of the factors identified in the above list might just help you steer clear of states that are a little tougher on young adults,” said Richard Barrington, a MoneyRates.com senior financial analyst, in a prior update. “Or, if you are already in one of those states, seeing it rank as one of the worst for young people might just get you thinking about trying your luck elsewhere. There could be a better life waiting for you in a state where conditions are more welcoming to people like yourself.”

Let’s take a look at the 15 worst states for young adults.

15. Hawaii

Hawaii beach

Don’t let Hawaii’s beauty fool you | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Though it may look like paradise, Hawaii ranks as the No. 15 worst state in America for young adults. The state’s high cost of living is certainly a major factor. Hawaii ranks near the bottom in terms of rental affordability and education affordability. Its number of fitness clubs ranks No. 45 in the nation. On the positive, Hawaii’s young adult employment ranks No. 11.