Why Millennials are Leaving the City for the Suburbs
Younger residents are leaving large cities in record numbers based on recently released census figures. A large number of Gen X and millennials moving now sets a trend toward slower urban growth.
An analysis conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that cities with more than half a million people saw a loss of an average of 27,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 39 in 2018. It's the fourth year in a row that large cities such as New York, Chicago, Portland, Washington, and Las Vegas experienced a population drop among younger Americans.
The loss of 27,000 in 2018 isn't the most significant decrease we've seen in recent years. Large cities lost an average of 54,000 residents in the age group in 2017. The trend that's been set shows a slowing of urban revival. An urban revival was sparked when young adults headed from the suburbs to the city at the beginning of the decade.
Officials in cities blame both poor schooling and the high cost of living as reasons for the population loss. While many want to experience city life, they're finding that the quality of public goods is lackluster, according to Katherine Levine Einstein, a professor from Boston University. She assisted in leading a study in 2017 that surveyed mayors on whether they found housing met the needs of the city residents well or very well.
The results were dismal, as only 13% felt the housing was adequate for the constituents. They're very aware of the situation and know that people leave after they get married and start families for a better quality of life. They need to implement some changes if they don't want to continue to lose the younger population year after year.
New York saw its first decline in population in over a decade in 2018. Not all cities ended up losing people, and it's not all bad news. The population of Gen Xers and millennials increased in Columbus, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Denver, Seattle, and San Antonio. It appears that young adults aren't shunning the city life. They're just more selective about which cities they want to plant their roots down in.
This blog was originally published on Moshie Horn's Patch account.