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The most attractive cities worldwide for new graduates

Reuters/Charles Platiau
Can’t blame people for wanting to move to Paris.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s not just companies that compete for bright new graduates. Cities and countries also vie for them. Young people spend a lot, start companies, and draw big employers. After looking at its massive data set of job applicants and user profiles, LinkedIn picked out the cities that new graduates are the most likely to move to.

The career networking site tracked destination cities where a large number of new graduates (people leaving the last school they have listed within three years) had moved. A move was defined as migrating more than 100 miles for a new position listed on a person’s profile.

The data is limited in that it’s from the site alone, so it only applies to LinkedIn users, a self-selected group. That means the data probably skews toward the US and some areas, such as China (where LinkedIn isn’t as popular), are likely underrepresented.

Here’s the ranking by the percentage of movers from November 2012 to November 2013 who were recent graduates. Minneapolis is a surprisingly common destination, and despite high youth unemployment, people still flock to Madrid.


It’s not just the sheer number of new graduates arriving that determines a city’s attractiveness, but where they came from. LinkedIn also broke out the number of distinct cities that significant groups of young graduates move from. These are the cities that pull young people from all over their country and the world. Because of that, these cities are likely to end up with the most diversity of talent.

Minneapolis, for example, draws a ton of new graduates, but a high percentage of them come from nearby colleges in Wisconsin or other parts of Minnesota. New York, the most attractive city by this metric, brings in people from all over. Big feeder cities for Paris, the most popular city on the chart above, are Lyon, Lille, and London:


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