Millennials are avoiding some of the biggest cities in the U.S. in favor of destinations with job openings, good wages and affordable living conditions, according to a new study published by the National Association of Realtors.
The Washington, D.C.-based research group analyzed the share of millennial residents among recent movers, as well as the median income for recent movers, to determine the most popular areas where the world’s largest generation is moving.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. Researchers and media typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years.
Here’s a look at the top 5 destinations:
1. Madison, Wisconsin: Madison was the top destination for millennials in 2017, since 75 percent of recent movers to the city were millennials. It’s also a place that millennials stay long term: 32 percent of the population is already comprised of millennials. Affordability and employment opportunities are the two main reasons that attract millennials to Madison. Most recent movers could earn up to $70,000 and can buy nearly 30 percent of the homes listed for sale.
2. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Close to 73 percent of recent movers to the second-largest town in Michigan are millennials, building up an already-large population where 27 percent of the total population is millennials. The city is a more affordable area than most in the region, with strong employment growth. It also serves as an attractive area for young people, thanks to the large number of hospitals and a boon in health care and software jobs.
3. Seattle: The Washington technology hub was one of the 100 largest metro areas with the biggest number of millennials living in it, at 29 percent. About 70 percent of recent movers are millennials, thanks to high employment rates and the presence of tech behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing. Affordability in the area is low, however: The world’s largest generation can only afford to buy about 5 percent of homes currently listed for sale.
4. Durham, North Carolina: Alongside Raleigh and Chapel Hill, Durham is home to some of the largest and most successful research, helping to boost the employment rate. Millennials account for about 29 percent of Durham’s population, and of recent movers, they make up roughly 68 percent.
5. Bakersfield, California: In central California, based between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Bakersfield is a more affordable option for millennials looking to live in the Golden State. According to the study, about 27 percent of the town’s population is comprised of millennials. Millennials also accounted for 69 percent of recent movers in 2017, according to data compiled by the National Association of Realtors.