Millennials, those born roughly between 1982 and 1998, are now the nation’s largest generation, even surpassing Baby Boomers in 2016. This youthful generation has very unique living and spending habits and prefer many features of urban living instead of the suburbs that their parents favored. Cities are pinning their futures on attracting and holding on to Millennials for decades to come. In particular, these cities are trying to appeal to the most educated in this generation — believing that their “entrepreneurial spirit and technological savvy can spur innovation and urban revitalization.”
Cities with the highest Millennial populations
It’s wholly accepted that Millennials are at the forefront of these urban upgrades, but in what cities is it most apparent? According to data collected from the US Census Bureau, Chicago is leading the way, gaining almost 16 Millennials with at least a Bachelor’s degree, for every one added to the surrounding suburbs. In total, Chicago has the third highest population of educated Millennials behind New York and Los Angeles.
Despite rather slow growth, metro areas like St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland still outperform their nearby suburban areas. These core cities, in addition to Riverside and San Bernadino, are making substantial gains that are building from very small bases. Educated Millennials make up less than four percent of the populations of these cities.
Several other core cities, like San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, and Sacramento are finding more educated Millennials moving to the outlying suburban areas rather than in core cities. The reasons why this generation is choosing to eschew suburban living are hard to determine, but it seems like Millennials will be reshaping the metropolitan landscape for decades.
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