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The Alternative American College City League Table

Written by on 17th August 2017
Category: Travel

A few months ago we took an alternative look at the traditional university rankings, and rated some of the UK’s biggest university cities based on factors such as safety, LGBTQ friendliness, and of course, how cheap a pint is!

Now we’ve taken the same approach, and applied it across the pond, ranking 20 of the cities in America with the biggest student populations.

The factors we looked at included:

  • Recorded crimes per 10,000 people
  • Expected salary five years after graduation
  • Average cost of a beer
  • Percentage of the population who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

You can see the full results below, as well as the sources we used to find the data.

City Crimes (Pts) Salary (Pts) Price Of A Beer (Pts) LGBTQ (Pts) Total
1. Austin 13 20 15 20 68
2. Boston 17 19 3 19 58
3. Los Angeles 18 11 9 17 55
4. San Diego 19 16 9 9 53
5. Columbus 11 6 19 16 52
6. Seattle 5 18 9 19 51
7. Atlanta 3 14 15 15 47
8. New York City 20 13 3 11 47
9. Houston 9 15 20 2 46
10. Phoenix 14 2 16 13 45
11. Philadelphia 12 8 15 9 44
12. Baltimore 4 12 15 9 40
13. Washington, D.C. 7 17 3 11 38
14. Chicago 16 7 9 6 38
15. Pittsburgh 15 3 19 1 38
16. Miami 8 5 9 15 37
17. Orlando 2 1 19 13 35
18. Minneapolis 10 10 9 5 34
19. Milwaukee 6 9 15 3 33
20. St. Louis 1 4 15 5 25

Recorded Crimes Per 10,000 People

Using Government data, we looked at the latest crime statistics across the 20 cities in the USA with the largest student population. When moving away from home, it’s important to feel safe in the city, hence why we looked at this as our first alternative ranking factor.

City Recorded Crimes Per 10,000 People Points
1. New York City 420.89 20
2. San Diego 497.36 19
3. Los Angeles 601.73 18
4. Boston 603.67 17
5. Chicago 771.98 16
6. Pittsburgh 791.74 15
7. Phoenix 816.44 14
8. Austin 829.67 13
9. Philadelphia 837.37 12
10. Columbus 900.90 11
11. Minneapolis 1054.18 10
12. Houston 1075.79 9
13. Miami 1079.83 8
14. Washington, D.C. 1143.75 7
15. Milwaukee 1175.77 6
16. Seattle 1225.52 5
17. Baltimore 1307.46 4
18. Atlanta 1324.87 3
19. Orlando 1392.69 2
20. St. Louis 1633.67 1

Median Salary 5 Years After Graduation

Of course, one of the main reasons anyone goes away to college is to further their education and increase their chances of landing a well-paid job at the end of their studies. Many remain in the city where they studied so we wanted to know the median salary 5 years after graduation in each location.

City Median Salary After 5 Years Points
Austin $53,400 20
Boston $51,761 19
Seattle $51,433 18
Washington, D.C. $50,600 17
San Diego $50,500 16
Houston $49,650 15
Atlanta $49,460 14
New York City $49,283 13
Baltimore $48,967 12
Los Angeles $48,838 11
Minneapolis $47,260 10
Milwaukee $47,275 9
Philadelphia $47,208 8
Chicago $46,022 7
Columbus $44,875 6
Miami $44,783 5
St. Louis $44,733 4
Pittsburgh $44,517 3
Phoenix $43,900 2
Orlando $43,650 1

The Price Of A Beer

When planning your graduation parties (given that the legal drinking age in the USA is 21), we’re sure you’ll want to factor in the price of a pint in the city (or, most likely, many, many pints) and it’s surprising to see that the cost in Washington D.C. is double that in Houston!

City Price of a Beer Points
Houston $3.00 20
Columbus $3.50 19
Pittsburgh $3.50 19
Orlando $3.50 19
Phoenix $3.75 16
Austin $4.00 15
Atlanta $4.00 15
Philadelphia $4.00 15
Baltimore $4.00 15
Milwaukee $4.00 15
St. Louis $4.00 15
Los Angeles $5.00 9
San Diego $5.00 9
Seattle $5.00 9
Chicago $5.00 9
Miami $5.00 9
Minneapolis $5.00 9
Boston $6.00 3
New York City $6.00 3
Washington, D.C. $6.00 3

LGBTQ Population

Using data published by Gallup, we took a look at the % of the local population who identify as LGBTQ, knowing how important it is that everyone feels comfortable when moving to a new city, especially as a 17 or 18 year old.

City LGBT Population % Points
Austin 5.30% 20
Boston 4.80% 19
Seattle 4.80% 19
Los Angeles 4.60% 17
Columbus 4.30% 16
Atlanta 4.20% 15
Miami 4.20% 15
Phoenix 4.10% 13
Orlando 4.10% 13
New York City 4% 11
Washington, D.C. 4% 11
San Diego 3.90% 9
Philadelphia 3.90% 9
Baltimore 3.90% 9
Chicago 3.80% 6
Minneapolis 3.60% 5
St. Louis 3.60% 5
Milwaukee 3.50% 3
Houston 3.30% 2
Pittsburgh 3.00% 1

 

So there you go. A detailed look at four alternative ranking factors for those considering the right college city to study at in America. We were certainly surprised at some of the results, however it’s great to see that, when it comes to looking at those factors which matter to millennial students, it’s not the cities you’d expect which come out top.

Sources

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-8/table_8_offenses_known_to_law_enforcement_by_state_by_city_2015.xls/view
http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/bachelors
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
http://www.gallup.com/poll/182051/san-francisco-metro-area-ranks-highest-lgbt-percentage.aspx