Why Thousands of Millennials are Leaving U.S. Cities

WSJ What's News


Have you found yourself priced. Out of a city like New York are Houston latest data from the two thousand eighteen census shows. You might not be alone for the fourth straight year. People between the ages of thirty five and thirty nine have left cities with half a million people or more Charlie Turner has been finding out why from Janet Adamy me Janet in recent months the Wall Street Journal has reported on various migration trends such as young people moving out of New York City and millennials moving to the suburbs. The Journal has analyzed data on young people leaving the city's this from the census. What do the numbers show for the fourth year in a row tens of thousands thousands of young adults. This is millennials and the youngest members of Generation X. have moved out of the nation's biggest cities this was happening in New York Chicago Houston based in San Francisco Las Vegas Washington and Portland. There was of course pretty big influx of young people into cities after the recession and what this latest data data shows is that you know for a couple of years. We've had these disdain declines. There were questions about whether maybe it was just an anomaly of a couple of years or or if this millennial generation was finally starting to move into that next stage of life where they were getting married and buying houses and the big question was are living in a stay and be different than previous generations or are they going to uproot and move to suburbs for more affordable housing more space better schools and what we're seeing in this pattern suggests that as they do get older yes they are starting to act more like previous generations and lust like the kind of anomaly of urban dwellers they have been for for the much of this past decade and we're talking about numbers in the tens of thousands cities with more than half million people put together lost almost twenty seven thousand residents among the ages of twenty five to thirty nine this was last year and although this was. I guess half of the drop in two thousand seventeen and that's still a sizeable decline fine. I think the bigger story here is the pattern so a large batch of cities. Losing tens of thousands of people in the whole scheme of things is not that significant but we had in the middle of the decade. Was You know a pretty steady inflex for a couple of years and I think developers other real estate professionals schools employers to a certain extent have kind of been paying close attention to whether this remains a net inflow or a an outflow and the fact that it's four years of outflow starts to tell us that there's some different behavior going on even if the numbers aren't huge the drop laughter was driven by decline in urban residents. I guess older millennials thirty five to thirty nine. That's right among the youngest millennials in that that very oldest cohort of the Gen Z. That follows them. They are so moving into cities their numbers in the largest it just cities are are marginally positive but where the losses are really happiness. Urban residents aged thirty five to thirty nine again. That's the age at which you no. The people are oftentimes making the decision about where they're going to settle down. They are either you know well into or staring down decisions about schools and what we're finding. Is that that age. Group is a point at which people decide that they don't want to stay anymore and you mentioned schools aren't those basically the primary the reasons they don't like the schools in the big cities and also the cost of housing for the space that they're getting that's right housing costs in general appear to be the biggest factor her and that's in cities that are relatively affluent as well as ones that are struggling more interestingly the there were some research out of Boston. University that found in a study of mirrors errors that only thirteen percent said that the housing stock in their city fit the population's very well so there's a real mismatch between the kind of housing people want and the kind of housing housing that's available and said he's not it does appear to be the main

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