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Are Millennials Moving or Staying Put?

Are Millennials Moving or Staying Put?

Reading time: 7 minutes

Millennials are the leading generation. They’ve surpassed the Baby Boomers a couple of years ago, and the Generation Z still has some catching up to do.

Therefore, this Generation Y is a real force to be reckoned with! They’re shaping the world at the moment with their interests and tendencies, and one of them is staying at home. Despite all the appearance of an active generation open to switching careers and working as digital nomads, millennials’ motto is “there’s no place like home”. Let’s see if we can explain the curious disparity.

Are Millennials Moving or Staying Put? Chart pie.
What kind of move did millennials have in the past 5 years in the state of Maryland*

Desire to travel

Most millennials have itchy feet. Not only are they more likely to travel than other generations, but they’re inclined to spend more as well. A millennial is willing to lash out more than any Baby Boomer, for example. During this year alone, there should be some 320 million millennials roaming around the world. 

So, how come they’re staying at home (even living with their parents), if they’re obviously bitten by the travel bug?

Well, in order not to completely get lost in the world, it’s important to have a place to call home. It’s much easier to travel around the planet and give in to new adventures if you have some kind of a sanctuary waiting for you. Despite all the facts, millennials desire stability, too.

No need for cars

Hardly has any generation been so environmentally conscious as this one. Ever since they were born, millennials have been listening to stories about environment conservation and how we should protect our planet in so many different ways. One of them is lowering the carbon footprint by riding a bike, or commuting via metro or train. 

Millennials are just not that into cars. They think the maintenance is too expensive, and definitely not worth the bother. Also, finding a parking space is time consuming and annoying.

Whatever the reason(s), not owning a car does limit a person’s mobility in a way. It makes one more reliant on the immediate surrounding when it comes to services and less decisive to set out to explore new neighborhoods or nearby towns, and lure them into moving elsewhere. In fact, according to a survey on millennials and their moving habits, only 20% of millennials moved house, which is a much lower rate than their parents’!

Moving Trend by gender.
Who moves more frequent by gender in the state of Maryland*

Tech-savvy global citizens

Why should one move anywhere when they can already get the feeling of being there, and even check for all the bad points just by clicking or tapping? In the old days, moving somewhere considered taking some kind of risk. You never knew what it’s really like to live somewhere before you made the decision to relocate. However, nowadays you can see if something suits you perfectly in a matter of minutes. Millennials are keen researchers, and they check for all the facilities they need before seriously thinking about hiring a moving  company or see the packing cost. What is more, online shopping has made it so much easier to remain where we are. No need to go window shopping or visit a restaurant — just use the corresponding app, and there you go!

New careers

Have you noticed how home offices have started to flood the real estate market? Every other home for sale is being advertised with the possibility of transforming the garage into a home office. More than any other generation before them, millennials like to work from home. Albeit one part of them will choose to take their laptop to an exotic destination and create new web designs on a sandy beach, the majority will remain in the comfort of their home sweet home. 

It’s a tricky one to explain, though. On the one hand, there’s the independence of working flexi-time from and not going to the city office, while on the other they become chained to their home (desk). Employers are quite in favor of this as remote workers are more productive. 


So,where are millennials moving?

Driven by affordability and the job market, millennials are relocating to new metropolitan areas across the United States. 

For the longest time, Los Angeles and New York were the trendy ‘’hot spots’’ to relocate to. Recent studies show that millennials are looking in the fresh direction of up-and-coming metro areas that offer affordable living costs.

It’s becoming more and more difficult to find a job without a college degree, which often comes with the weight of student debt. Though it was possible for the previous generation, student debt and higher median home prices make the barrier of entry into the housing market for 25-39-year-olds much higher. Millennials are therefore searching for an affordable city with an opportunity-filled job market and a bustling cultural life, where they can afford to rent a property as opposed to buy a home. 

According to the Census Bureau’s latest data, here are the top three cities millennials are moving to: 

  • Seattle, Washington – Seattle is the new trendy spot for millennials. A recent study shows that close to 27,000 millennials moved to Seattle from different states in 2018. With beautiful evergreen forests, warm summers, and an exciting social scene, Seattle is the #1 place for millennials. It is also more affordable than the typical hot-spots, as the cost of living in Seattle is 33% less compared to New York.
  • Denver, Colorado –  Millennials and seniors alike are moving to the adventurous city of Denver. Recently, about 6,200 individuals between 25 to 39 years old have relocated to the city. Denver is a magnet for millennials, but increasing home prices may cause this generation to not stick around for long. The city offers close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, beautiful green scenery, and 300 days of sunshine a year, attracting young adults from all over the United States. The cost of living here is much more affordable than New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
  • Austin, Texas – In recent years, 7,100 individuals between the ages of 25-39 and 6,200 individuals between the ages of 30 and 34 moved to Austin, Texas. The city has plenty to offer to young professionals, from a thriving night-life scene to world-class employers offering myriad job opportunities.

In the past decade, chasing your dreams in a big city has lost its appeal to many millenials. With the cost of living increasing and wages staying the same, millennials aren’t left with much savings after paying their rent, groceries, and utilities. 

With the added factors of an incredibly competitive job market and the stress surrounding a daily city commute, millennials are increasingly willing to trade the hustle and bustle of the big city for the calmness of small town living. 

More and more jobs are now offering work-from-home opportunities, making living in a more affordable city, or even traveling while working, much more appealing.

At the end...

To sum up, millennials are a generation that exhibits contrasts like no one before. They love travel, but adore their creature comforts, too. Being an independent worker is excellent and they despise the thought of feeling too attached to one job, yet their office hardly ever changes — their home, or the local coffee shop. In the end, it can be deduced that Generation Y is a real creature of habit, no matter how hard they tend to deny it.

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