Livin’ La Vida Millennial

What do San Antonio, Texas, Paradise, Nevada, and Columbus, Ohio, all have in common? 
  (A) Each city was a winning answer on Final Jeopardy last season 
  (B) Each is under consideration as a location for the next “Real Housewives” franchise 
  (C) They are three of the top ten cities Millennials moved to in 2020 
 
If you guessed C, you clearly have your finger on the pulse of today’s young professionals. If you guessed A or B, you obviously spend too much time watching television…but I won’t judge.
 
If you were born between 1981 and 1996, you’re part of the generation that the media loves to love (or hate). News stories focusing on social or demographic changes may point out that Millennials represent the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in this country’s history; reports on economic issues, on the other hand, like to mention that Millennials face the twin burdens of high student loan debt and shrinking employment opportunities.
Click-bait headlines aside, what this generation does best is to watch and learn. We know that jobs don’t last forever, so we tend to value experiences more than things. We support the causes we believe in and we want to live in communities that reflect what is important to us.
 
Cities that appeal to Millennials usually have a robust job market, high quality of life, and a climate that favors year-round outdoor activities. Places like Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX, check all of those boxes.
 
Millennials are also keenly aware of the cost of living. We favor affordable locations with vibrant neighborhoods, reasonable levels of taxation, public transportation options, and good local air connections. San Antonio, TX, Paradise, NV, and Columbus, OH, all offer big-city amenities at an affordable cost.
 
Millennials working in high paying industries like technology have an affinity for places like Seattle, WA, or Denver, CO. For years, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area were considered home turf for the technology industry, but that supremacy has lessened over the last few years as Austin, Phoenix, and Boise developed their own tech hubs and lured talent into their cities.
 
If the energy and idealism of Millennials are too much for you, rest assured there are places you can go where you’ll see far fewer of us. New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC are the top three cities young professionals are fleeing from. (We blame the high cost of living in each of those areas.) If you think Millennials would rather party than work, you’ll be surprised to learn that Miami and New Orleans are losing people from this age group. And college towns like Ann Arbor, MI, and Boulder, CO, are also seeing an outflux of young professionals.
 
With a population of nearly 73 million members, Millennials comprise the largest generational group in the US today. So the next time you find yourself wondering what Millennials really think about something, take a look at the people nearby. Chances are the answers to your questions can be found within arm’s reach.
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