May 2017 Newsletter

What Are the Best States for Millennials? The Answer May Surprise You

When you think about the ideal state for millennials to live in, you likely imagine them traipsing around California or New York. But a recent MoneyRates.com study shows the best state for young folks these days is actually… wait for it… North Dakota?

The study looked at eight different aspects to determine the best states for millennials. These criteria are:

Job market for young adults (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Young adult proportion of population (U.S. Census Bureau)
College tuition affordability (Four-year in-state cost data from the College Board)
Residential rental availability (U.S. Census Bureau)
Residential rental affordability (U.S. Census Bureau)
Access to high-speed broadband internet (Federal government’s National Broadband Map)
Concentration of bars relative to the young adult population (U.S. Census Bureau)
Concentration of fitness facilities relative to the young adult population (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association)

With these in mind, MoneyRates.com ranked the following 10 states as the best fit for the millennial generation.

1. North Dakota
North Dakota has the second-highest population of people aged 20 to 24, trailing only Utah. One reason why young people are drawn to the state? The job market. Across most of the nation, unemployment for young adults has remained persistently troublesome, but North Dakota’s unemployment rate for people aged 20 to 24 is just 5.3 percent, compared with 8.1 percent for the typical state.

2. South Dakota
It probably comes as no surprise that South Dakota would share some characteristics with its neighbor to the north. Of particular interest to millennials looking for work, these similarities include a strong job market for young adults. South Dakota also ranks No. 1 nationally in the affordability of residential rentals, leaving millennials more money to put into their savings accounts.

3. Nebraska
This is another state that might not automatically be thought of as a mecca for young adults, but proportionately, its population of 20- to 24-year-olds is in the top 10 nationally. Nebraska also scored top 10 rankings for young adult employment and residential rental affordability.

4. Louisiana
Being home to New Orleans makes it easy to think of Louisiana as a party state, but actually it scored only a little better than average in terms of the availability of night life. However, it scored very well for broadband access, rental availability and proportion of young adults in its population.

5. Wyoming
With student loan debt an increasingly troubling issue for millennials, Wyoming offers a very strong attraction: At an average of $5,055 per year, the cost of a four-year public college degree for in-state residents is the lowest in the nation.

6. Iowa
The two greatest strengths for Iowa in this study were that it ranked among the 10 best states in both rental affordability and concentration of bars.

7. Kansas (Tie)
Scores for Kansas were more consistently decent than featuring spectacular ups and downs, though the state did rank particularly well for the availability of high-speed broadband and access to residential rentals.

7. Wisconsin (Tie)
Wisconsin stands out as a particularly good place to work and play – it has the fourth-lowest rate of young adult unemployment in the nation.

9. Montana
Montana has the third-lowest in-state tuition for four-year public college degrees. In addition, the state was in the top 10 for concentration of fitness facilities.

10. Indiana
The top ranks for Indiana would fall into the general category of ease-of-living for young adults. Indiana was in the top 10 for both affordability and availability of residential rental properties, and it also scored well for access to high-speed broadband.
Planting Pro:
Tips for a Healthy, Happy Tree
While planting a tree in your yard may seem intimidating, all it takes is a little muscle and some good know-how. Follow these guidelines from the expert arborists at the Tree Care Industry Association:

Measure the height and diameter of the root ball or root spread.
Dig the hole just deep enough to allow the first structural root to be at level grade. The diameter of the hole should be two to three times the diameter of the root ball or root spread.
Set the tree on undisturbed solid ground in the center of the hole. The tree should be planted so that the root flare, the base of the tree trunk where the roots begin to “flare-out,” will be visible above grade.
Backfill with soil from the planting hole, using water to pack or settle the soil around the root ball. Do not tamp soil by stepping on it.
Mulch the planting area with 2 – 4 inches of an organic, composted mulch such as wood chips. Do not mulch up to or against the trunk. Start the mulch six inches away from the tree trunk.
Trees should be pruned after planting to remove broken, damaged, diseased or dead branches.
Stake and/or protect the trunk of the tree if there is a real potential for wind damage or lawn-mower injury. Remove the supportive wires and materials when the staking is no longer needed or the tree could be injured or even killed.
Prune to develop a good branch structure once the tree has become established in its new home, usually 1 – 3 years after planting. Never remove more than 25 percent of total foliage in one year.
Fertilizing is not recommended at the time of planting.