If you’re in your 20s and want to make the most of it, you might consider living in one of the purple areas on the map below.
That’s where most 20-somethings in the United States are hanging out.
Source: U.S. Census American Community Survey, 2012. A majority (50.09%) of 20-somethings live in the purple areas.
Potential new friends, roommates and dates -- all are more plentiful in the purple areas.
This social network comes at a cost, of course. Many of the cities in the purple areas are also the most expensive places to live in America, in large part because there are so many people living there.
If you have a college degree, moving to a dense metro area might enable you to find a high-paying job that compensates for the living costs. On the other hand, urban clustering means there is probably more competition for those great jobs. Living in the brown areas can mean a more limited network, but it can also mean cheaper rent, shorter commutes and less pollution.
It’s never been easy being a small fish in a big pond. As the map shows, that isn’t just a cliche for the majority of 20-somethings today.