Depressing New Study Finds That College Grads Can't Afford to Live Anywhere


Woman sitting at table staring hopelessly at her laptop
(Image credit: Mark Schafer/HBO)

If you're a recent graduate, we're willing to bet that the same thought goes through your mind whenever you watch a movie about early-20-somethings starting out after college: How the hell did they afford that apartment?

What's already a reality stretch is about to become a totally hilarious fantasy: Experts at real estate site Trulia studied the 25 largest rental markets in the USA and found that less than 19% were affordable for recent grads.

In theory, you're only supposed to spend 1/3 of your salary on rent. So if you live in Atlanta, where the median salary for recent graduates is $25,571, you can only afford a place that costs less than $661 per month, which leaves you with a whopping 8.7% of the homes in the area to choose from. Even the most affordable city, St. Louis, can only offer 18.6% of rental units.

The good news is that having a roommate (or two, three, or four) makes these apartments significantly more affordable, and as a bonus you've always got someone to watch TV and share take-out with.

Two girls eating Chinese takeout on a sofa

(Image credit: Marie Claire)