One in four millennials moved to a different city in 2022. Whether they come from within the same county, state, out-of-state or abroad, these migrations can impact local small businesses, housing markets and social dynamics.
With this in mind, SmartAsset set out to determine where millennials are moving to most. Millennials were defined as people aged 25 to 44, in line with U.S. Census Bureau data for 268 cities. Cities were then ranked by the highest percentage of the population represented by newly-transplanted millennials.
- Millennials who moved in last year represent nearly 15% of the population in Cambridge, MA and Santa Clara, CA. Cambridge (14.7%) and Santa Clara (13.3%) have much to offer ambitious millennials between the prestigious scholastic and tech opportunities in each city. Across the whole population, the median age in Cambridge is 29.9, compared to 35 in Santa Clara.
- More than one third of millennials in Boulder, CO moved in the last year. After Cambridge, Boulder has the highest rate of fresh millennials, with nearly 29,000 moving into the city limits in 2022. Boulder placed 12th overall for the highest percentage of population made up of newly moved-in millennials.
- 41% of the population in Jersey City, Seattle and Denver are millennials. Regardless of the most recent moving trends, these three cities have the highest concentrations of millennials studywide. They rank 32nd, 3rd and 5th respectively when it comes to the rate at which millennials moved in last year.
- These cities have the lowest rates of millennials moving in. Relative to their total populations, Port St. Lucie, FL (4.8%); Brockton, MA (5.5%) have the lowest rates of millennials moving in 2022. Many California cities also saw low rates of millennials establishing residence, including Fontana (5.7%), Santa Ana (5.8%), Moreno Valley (5.9%), Thousand Oaks (5.9%) and Lancaster (6.0%).
- Millennials move out of state at the highest rates to go to these areas. Arlington, VA had the highest rate of millennials moving in from out of state at 5.2% of the total population. Studywide, Arlington placed 6th. Charleston, SC (45th); Washington, DC (15th); and Sandy Springs, GA (10th) similarly saw particularly high rates of millennial transplants from out of state.
- These cities are popular with foreign millennials. While Hialeah, FL and Ann Arbor, MI rank in the bottom half for millennials studywide, they are primary destinations for foreigners in this age group. Foreign millennials also had high rates of moving to some of the top 10 cities where millennials are generally moving to, including Cambridge, Bellevue and Santa Clara.
Top 10 Cities Where Millennials Moved
1. Cambridge, MA
In 2022, Cambridge saw a significant influx of millennials, with nearly 14.7% of its population being newcomers from this generation, totaling around 17,275 individuals. The city's median age stood at 29.9 years.
2. Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara was a close second, attracting millennials that constituted approximately 13.3% of its population. The city welcomed 16,661 millennials, with the median age in the city being 35 years.
3. Seattle, WA
Seattle became home to a large number of millennials, with new ones making up 12.5% of the city's population, or 93,302 millennials moving in. The city's median age is 36 years.
4. Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale was also a top choice for millennials, with 12.5% of its population comprising newly moved-in young adults. The number of millennials that moved to this Silicon Valley city was 18,862 in 2022, and the median age in the city was 35.9 years.
5. Denver, CO
Denver saw an influx of 85,390 millennials, representing 12.1% of its population. The median age citywide is 35.4 years.
6. Arlington, Virginia
About 11.5% of Arlington’s residents are new millennials. The city saw 26,699 millennials move in in 2022, and the median age across the city is 35.6 years.
7. Bellevue, WA
In Bellevue, Washington, newly moved-in millennials accounted for 11.3% of the population, with 17,131 making the city their new home. Bellevue's median age was one of the highest on the list at 38.9 years.
8. Killeen, Texas
Killeen attracted 16,853 millennials, making up 10.8% of its population. The median age in Killeen was 30.4 years, the second-lowest in the top 10.
9. Austin, TX
Austin drew in 103,461 millennials in 2022, constituting 10.7% of its population. The city's median age is 34.7 years.
10. Sandy Springs, GA
Sandy Springs rounds out the top 10 with new millennials representing 10.5% of the total population. The number of millennials who moved there in 2022 was 11,210. The city also had the highest median age in the top 10 at 39.5 years.
Data and Methodology
Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey for 2022. The study included 268 cities that had available data and 100,000 or more people aged 1 or over. Millennials were defined as those aged 25 to 44. Cities were ranked by the percentage of the total population represented by millennials who moved into the city in 2022.
Tips for Moving
- Consider cost of living and taxes. Federal, state and local taxes will all affect your paycheck. You can check your net pay in different locations with SmartAsset’s paycheck calculator.
- Account for upfront moving costs. Leave extra room in the budget for new furniture and moving expenses. You may have more negotiating power when securing housing if you look during off-peak rental or sales seasons.
- Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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