Millennials might get a bad rap, but we actually have a lot going for us. Among other things, experts suggest that millennials may actually have the happiest relationships and that millennials might prove to be the best crop of parents our society has ever seen. If we’re to live up to all this awesome potential — and prove the haters wrong while we’re at it — we need to set ourselves up for success. To help put you in the best position possible (literally), WalletHub recently compiled a list of the best and worst places for millennials to live and work. With this information available to us, our generation extra motivation to kick butt at life.

The team of analysts at WalletHub studied all 50 states (plus Washington, DC) across a series of 30 metrics, including affordability, quality of life, economic health, and civic engagement. Academic experts worked alongside the WalletHub team to devise this ranking system so it could accurately capture the full scope of information that millennials really need to determine where they should live. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez notes that, unique from other geographical studies, this one “analyzes the states based on the needs of millennials — not those of their parents.” Good looking out, WalletHub!

Friends discuss a map together

Overall, the results of the study aren’t particularly positive, as they point to financial struggles for millennials across the country. “We were surprised to find that, although millennials are well educated, they are still worse off than their parents from an economic standpoint,” Gonzalez notes. “Millennials tend to have fewer job prospects and less earning power — by some estimates earning 20 percent less than Baby Boomers did at the same age.”

While these numbers are frustrating, they certainly leave room for growth, and millennials who live and work in the states ranked higher in WalletHub’s study may find themselves with easier access to the kinds of job prospects that will set them up for greater success in the future. And thanks to higher levels of millennial civic engagement, they might also find themselves able to more easily influence the changes they want to see in their communities.

If your home state doesn’t make the top ten, don’t panic — and definitely don’t book a moving truck just yet. Gonzalez encourages members of the 18-to-34 set who are living in the so-called “worst” states to think critically about their location’s strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they are best situated to achieve their financial goals in the long run. You might just need to get creative — and even a little scrappy — in order to take advantage of what your state has to offer. Read on to see if your state made WalletHub’s top 10 (or bottom 10) list.

Best Locations for Millennials

A cherry tree blooms across the water from the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

1. Washington, DC

2. North Dakota

3. Minnesota

4. Massachusetts

5. Iowa

6. Wisconsin

7. Utah

8. Nebraska

9. Colorado

10. South Dakota

Worst Locations for Millennials

Colorful New Mexico landscape

1. New Mexico

2. West Virginia

3. Mississippi

4. Nevada

5. Alabama

6. Louisiana

7. Oklahoma

8. Arkansas

9. South Carolina

10. Florida

Does your state deserve a spot on the list of best (or worst!) states for millennials? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)