Where are Millennials Moving and Why?

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Over the past few years there has been a large shift in where Millennials are moving. Due to an ever-changing economy, Millennials have had to adjust their plans in order to find affordable places to live and good jobs. As a result, some places have seen a larger influx of Millennials than others. If you’re in this age group, and you’re wondering where you might be able to live, the below list might offer some suggestions.

Economic Issues Facing Millennials

Before we get into where Millennials are moving, it’s important to think about the issues they’re facing. For starters, while unemployment has been dropping for over 5 years, the wage growth has not changed much. When you compare it to a few decades ago, it’s now even harder to make a living. Think of it this way – it wasn’t too long ago most families were able to get by on a single income. Now they are struggling to get by with two incomes.

On top of wage issues, many Millennials have student debts to pay off. The cost of college has skyrocketed over the years, leaving many graduates with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt. When you’re paying several hundred dollars each month on a student loan, and you’re barely making much money as it is, it’s hard to afford your own place to live.

Where Millennials are Moving

Between slow wage growth and increasing debts, Millennials must look for places that are cheaper to live and have a decent amount of good paying jobs available. Here are a few places that are meeting those requirements:

  • San Francisco, California – The most popular city for Millennials is San Francisco. It has seen an increase of 16.2% in Millennial population, along with a 32.4% increase in median wages. When you compare it with the other cities in California, it comes off looking even better. With everything that California has to offer, it’s no wonder that San Francisco has become one of the more popular destinations for this generation.
  • Denver, Colorado – When you think of Millennial hotspots, you likely don’t picture Denver. However, it’s seen an increase in Millennial population by 18.7%, while at the same time increasing median wages by 13.1%. Denver’s spot on this list shows that Millennials aren’t just looking to move to the closest major city, but rather are looking for a place that’s up-and-coming.
  • Austin, Texas – The third most popular place for Millennials is the capitol of Texas, Austin. For many years Austin has been focusing on bringing in a younger crowd, and the efforts have paid off. This city has seen an increase in Millennials by 17.5%, and the wages have gone up 21.7%. Because Austin has been focusing on youth for many years now, there is plenty of the Millennial generation to do there, making it an attractive destination.

For more of the most popular destinations, you can check out this list.

Housing Options for Millennials

Once you’ve decided on where you want to move, your work isn’t quite done yet though. Millennials also have to decide what type of place they’d want to live in. Even if you want to move to Austin, for example, this doesn’t mean you have to get a place within the city. You could always pick a place that’s just outside, giving you more housing options.

Since Millennials are often working on a budget, buying a house isn’t always easy. In fact, many Millennials regret buying their homes because of the massive debt they have to incur. On top of that, if the property value falls, you could find yourself losing money on the deal.

Another option is to purchase the land with the help of a site like Land Broker MLS. You can then build a home that you want. This will typically cost more, but if you plan on being in a location for a while, it may make financial sense.

That being said, the most popular option for Millennials is simply to rent a place. If you can afford it, you may be able to find a place of your own within one of the cities mentioned above. To cut costs, you could look for a roommate and split the rent and utility fees. Another option is to rent a bedroom inside a home. There are plenty of options wherever you move – the key is to explore them all and pick one that works best for you.

As the economy around them continues to shift, where Millennials migrate to will likely continue to change. But if you’re looking for a place now, the above cities are making an effort to bring in more Millennials, so you may find an easier time there.



Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.


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