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Here Are the Cities Where It’s Hardest for Millennials to Afford to Pay Rent

How expensive can modern life get? If you’re a millennial or a member of Gen Z, this is a pretty pertinent question and right now the answer appears to be something along the lines of “the limit does not exist.” The gulf between the cost of living and the actual wages of most workers continues to scream towards new records, and this is especially tricky for younger Americans who never had time to build up any appreciable amount of wealth — unless your family has enough to pass some along.

And now, a new analysis from Filterbuy shows just where this growing gap is hitting the hardest. They put their heads together and found the eight major cities with the largest Millennial renter wage gaps, ranking them from the smallest rent-to-income ratio to the largest. In all these cities, at least half of all Millennials don’t make enough to afford the rent on a one bedroom apartment.

The biggest gap is in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area in California, where the Millennial median wage is $36,649. But the median annual wage needed to rent a one-bedroom without spending more than 30 percent of your earnings is $72,560.

In other words, half of all Millennials in the area can swing renting a one-bedroom spot. The other half doesn’t. And the LA area isn’t alone here. In fact, of the top eight cities listed, five are in California.

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Right behind the LA-Long Beach-Anaheim area on the list is Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach in Florida, where the median Millennial income is $31,414 but you need to make $52,320 to afford a one-bedroom. Number three is San Diego-Carlsbad in California, and number four is Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford in Florida. The rest are all California areas (San Francisco, San Jose and Riverside) except for one more East Coast spot: NYC-Newark-Jersey City in New York and New Jersey.

Unfortunately, this gap is only continuing to grow, and homeownership remains an equally unreachable dream for many Millennials, about 25 percent of whom believe they’ll probably always be renting. In addition to the soaring cost of rent and largely stagnant wages, younger Americans are bogged down by things like student loans. Nearly half of all Americans between 23 and 31 say college debt is keeping them from saving enough money to buy a house.

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