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25 Worst Cities to Be Young

The Daily Beast crunched the numbers to find where unemployment and debt are highest for young adults.

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America’s young adults are staring down record unemployment and diminished career prospects. The Daily Beast crunched the numbers to find the cities where unemployment and debt are the highest.

Census data released in September revealed the statistical proof behind what millions had already known—the recession caused severe, and possibly irreversible, damage to the future of America’s newest adult population. Dubbed the “lost generation,” young adults are facing record unemployment and debt, which has caused more of them to stay close to home and remain single. Their earnings and career prospects may be stunted for decades.

The details are stark. Nearly 6 million adults between 25 and 34 were living with their parents last year, a 25 percent uptick since before the recession started. The number of long-distance moves dropped to the lowest levels since World War II. The marriage rate among 25- to 34-year-olds fell to a new low of 44.2 percent.

To figure out where young adults have had it the worst, The Daily Beast combed the stats on unemployment, marriage, and education to see which cities had the greatest positive change between 2008 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census. The cities on our list of the worst for young people have had the greatest rise in an educated, unemployed, and single young adult population. Average consumer debt, not available broken down by age, was considered based on data from Experian by metro area. Each metric was weighted equally, along with the current level of unemployment for the population between 20 and 24 years old.

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