Where the Millennials Are Moving

Map credit: Time

Time has produced a confusing article on how Millennials “are moving to America’s cities,” using the terms “cities,” “urban areas,” and “metropolitan areas” interchangeably. But the main thrust of the report seems clear enough: Some metros are seeing a faster increase in the Millennial population than others. Indeed, 11 metros actually lost Millennials.

The reason the article caught my eye is that the two metros with the fastest-growing 25- to 34-year-old populations between 2010 and 2015 are…. drum roll….

No. 1: Hampton Roads — up 16.4%, a gain of 7,034.

No. 2: Richmond — up 14.9%, a gain of 5,176.

Larger metropolitan areas such as Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, Baltimore, and New York showed larger gains in absolute numbers, but the percentage increases were much lower.  It is especially satisfying to see the two Virginia metros out-performing “hot” metros such as Austin and Raleigh. Heh! Heh!

For all I know, these numbers are a statistical fluke. (Are the Hampton Roads numbers driven by an increase in young military personnel?) But, then, maybe they’re not. Maybe Hampton Roads and Richmond have a good vibe and really are luring young people. The migration portends good things for the future.

Caution: James V. Koch, an Old Dominion University economics professor (and ODU president emeritus) urges readers to view these numbers with caution. First, despite the implication of the Time article, these are not migration numbers; they are population numbers, which include not only migration but natural population increase/decrease. Second, he can’t tell where the numbers come from. The statistics he has seen show out-migration from Hampton Roads.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

5 responses to “Where the Millennials Are Moving

  1. well then the report says:

    ” Over the past decade, there’s been an increase in the number of young adults in urban areas, largely due to a 32% increase in births between 1978 and 1990, according to Dowell Myers, professor of demography at the University of Southern California. He says that upswing has led people to believe that there’s been a real change in millennials’ preferences, when really there were just a lot more young people born 25 years ago. Nationally, 21% of 25-to 34-year-olds lived in cities in 2015, and 73% lived in suburbs — a ratio that is unchanged from 2010.”

    Then WaPo says this:

    ” New Census data: Americans are returning to the far-flung suburbs

    excerpt: New Census data, though, suggests that eight years after the housing crash, Americans are starting to move back there again. The fledgling trend, captured in data through 2014, raises questions about whether American preferences for where and how to live truly changed much during the housing bust, or if we simply put our exurban aspirations on hold. At the same time, the shift calls into question a parallel and popular narrative: that Americans who once preferred the suburbs would now rather move into the city.”

    Then finishes with this:

    ” The question of whether Millennials in particular have changed their housing preferences — opting for cities over suburbs at higher rates than their parents did — will take a few more years to answer definitively. Young adults are only now starting to graduate from college into a world where they have more job options.

    “We’ll have to wait until there’s a generation of kids that come out that have opportunities to make decisions based on their preferences rather than just constraints,” Frey says. “That’s not yet happened, either. It may be starting to happen.”

  2. The real question is, where will the Millennials live when they start to reproduce?
    They grew up in the suburbs. Will they return there to spawn, or stay in cities? If the latter, where will their kids go to school? Will there be a flood of demand for private schools, or will they infuse generally bad urban school districts with involved parents and work to make things better?

    • the initial response is that the kids will likely go to private academies…like you see in New York City , IF they stay in the “city”. but then think about where Millennials are with respect to adopting technology….both as creators and users of it… some of them are right now – creating damn-good “education” software… that people can learn with …

      the two fields that have yet to be transformed and are the focus of much effort are education and medicine.. Education software is now on a path such that homeschooling has been enormously improved.

      The role of the teacher is going to be re-defined …to be … what the software cannot do… but more and more of the software can be tailored to the child – to his/her learning style – to their strengths and deficits… to configure the lessons to catch them up on what they need catching up on and to accelerate what they are good at… and the teacher maintaining the structure of the learning environment including the socialization of the children in sharing resources and learning to collaborate with each other on problem solving.

      I can see a Millennial parent starting their child on the computer/phone before they are even school age.. and EXPECTING the school to be concurrent with the technology already created and in use…

      So perhaps the question is not what existing traditional things will Millennials but how will they change these things.. and my bet is that they’re going to change things like education – and medical care – perhaps massively…

  3. Wake me up when you find an article about the increase in educated millennials by geography. Larry is exactly right in pointing out that an increase in millenials could be a high birth rate in that city or an influx of younger uneducated immigrants.

    The “creative class” is not just a collection of young people. It’s a collection of educated young people with some creative elders thrown in for good measure.

  4. McLean is full of younger people who have moved here from the District or dense parts of Arlington or Alexandria when their kids are ready for school. Does everyone move from a city to a suburb when they get kids? No, but similarly, some younger people sans kids live in the suburbs.

Leave a Reply