Where 3 Generations of Americans are Moving


By Rebecca Clay

While there are no shortage of horror stories of boomerang kids living in mom and dad’s basements well into their 30s, millennials and their baby boomer parents couldn’t be more different. Not only would they like to not share a roof, most would prefer to live in the opposite sides of town! More and more millennials are settling into the suburbs, while baby boomers and toddlers are enjoying city living.

You’d think millennials, the tech-savvy generation roughly ages 20 to 34, would favor big cities. But America’s young adults were actually more drawn to the outer suburban rim of major metropolitan areas in 2013 than the year prior.

Here’s a breakdown of three generations and where they’re now living.

where is everybody moving blogMillennials: The ‘Burbs Beckon

Whether they’re seeking more affordable housing or more living space, millennials clearly favor commuting to major cities like Houston and Orlando rather than living in the heart of downtown.

The number of millennials living in big-city suburbs and small cities grew about 1.3 percent, versus about 1.2 percent in big cities. Still, young adults aren’t exactly flocking far from city life.

Among the metropolitan areas where millennials’ ranks are swelling: Colorado Springs (up 3.2%), San Antonio (up 3.0%), and Peabody, Massachusetts (up 2.9%).

Babies: City Slickers

Big cities aren’t going desolate just yet—they’re just being inhabited by a bunch of babies (thanks to their city-loving parents who are making the call on where to live). The number of kids under the age of 5 increased about 0.2% in big cities versus declines in suburbs and rural areas. Babies, the number of which has declined nationwide, are flourishing inside major cities like New York and Washington, D.C.

Other major metropolitan areas drawing unusually high growth in children 4 and under: Orlando, Seattle, and San Diego.

Baby Boomers: Destination — Downtown

As for America’s baby boomers (ages 50-69), they’re heading to cities with warmer climates as they begin retirement and start downsizing. Their numbers are growing most heavily in both big cities and their dense suburbs, where their population in each area rose about 2.1%.

Boomers are loving the South, with cities like Austin and Raleigh welcoming a more than 4 percent rise. And they’re really loving cities where millennials live — Austin has the highest share of millennials of any city. Charleston, Dallas, and Houston are also places that attract both boomers and millennials.

So, take heart millennials — when you’re ready to move out and start your life, so are your parents!

Rebecca Clay

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