Monday, November 21, 2011
Young Adults Choose “Cool Cities” During Recession
In an article written by William Frye, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution, the Average Annual Net Domestic Migration by Metropolitan Area Among Persons Aged 25-34 according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data mid decade is compared to the results at the end of the decade.
It turns out that the top gainers in 2005-2007 Riverside Metro Area, Phoenix Metro Area, and Atlanta Metro Area have changed as the destination hot spot for young adults by the end of the decade. Riverside moved from first to eighth in the nation gaining less than one quarter of the young adults it drew from the mid decade numbers. Phoenix went from second to seventeenth and Atlanta fell from third to twenty third.
It seems young people are moving less than before, it is interesting to see where those who did move chose to move. Heading the list are Denver with 10,429 new young residents, Houston with 9,366 new young adults, Dallas with 8,731, Seattle with 7,451, Austin with 7,099 new young residents, Washington D.C. with 7,044 and Portland with 6,656 new young adult residents. It can be said that the top three areas and our nation’s capital fared relatively well economically during the recession. All seven of the top gainers are places where young people can feel connected and have attachments to colleges or universities among highly educated residents.
Young people’s destinations differ sharply form the top migrant draws for all ages combined-where Phoenix, and Riverside still rank in the top three. Two on the 2008-2010 U.S. Census generated list gained tremendously in rank among young movers. Denver which moved from twelfth in 2005-2007 to first in 2008-2010 and Washington D.C. which improved from forty fourth to sixth in the same years time. There is no doubt that the current economic doldrums are leaving many young people in limbo, waiting for employment and housing opportunities to emerge. When the economy does eventually pick up, they follow the jobs, no doubt, wherever they become available. In the meantime, a select group of metro areas with modestly growing economies, and strong youth cachet, seem to be the places where they are riding out the downturn. Which makes Denver the number one destination for ages 25-34 among any where else in the nation as this decade turns.