Phila. tops best-cities list for recent college grads

Philadelphia, the best city for recent college graduates?

That's what a little number crunching by two Web sites specializing in apartments and job searches for college grads has determined.

Now this isn't rigorous science, but a fun diversion on a sunny spring afternoon. Apartments.com and CBcampus.com delved into the Census Bureau's 2006 estimates to rank the U.S. cities with the highest concentration of people age 20 to 24.

They took the top 10 and then matched the cities against the inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience. They divided that inventory by the total population of young adults to rank the cities.

That put Philadelphia ahead of Boston and New York. The next six are Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit and Atlanta.

In all likelihood, the amount of competition for entry-level jobs in Boston and New York probably lowered their scores. But when you look at the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, Philadelphia at $962 beats them easily. New York was most expensive at $1,520, while a Boston one-bedroom goes for $1,343.

It'll be good fodder for civic boosters who want to show how desirable Philadelphia should be for college grads.