Mapping The (Un)Affordability Of NYC Rents For Recent College Grads

The outrageousness of New York City rents is old news, but a new interactive map by the data scientists over at StreetEasy offers a fresh way to visualize the struggle recent college grads face when moving to the concrete jungle where dreams are made (and then crushed). Based on the estimated starting salary for your college major, the percentage of your income you’re willing to spend on rent, and the number of roommates you’re willing to tolerate, it maps out which neighborhoods won’t leave you destitute, and reveals how many affordable apartments/garrets are available in each area.

Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and Bushwick win the prize for least sucky rent prices in Brooklyn, as the many recent college grads already infesting these areas know. Northern Queens and the South Bronx are also more budget-friendly for aspiring educators, artists, and psychologists, who, on average, earn the lowest starting salaries of the college majors listed.

The discrepancies between what various majors can afford are stark: Business majors, of course, with their expected starting salaries of $55,150, have the most options. Unlike graduates from other majors, they can afford the luxury of living alone even in Brooklyn’s pricier neighborhoods, evidenced by Williamsburg’s growing Wall Street bro contingent.

Perhaps the biggest insight here for recent grads looking to save is that Manhattan isn’t totally off-limits—as the New York Times pointed out this past weekend, more and more renters being priced out of a Mannhattan-ified Brooklyn are, ironically, heading north to neighborhoods like Washington Heights, Inwood, and Morningside Heights. Even for education majors earning $28,460 a year—the lowest starting salary of all ten majors listed—Washington Heights is a much more affordable option than many Brooklyn neighborhoods. Still, before packing up your dorm room to move into a shoebox in Bushwick, consider that $790 a month could rent  a lovely 2-bedroom apartment in downtown Detroit.

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