Who Knew? Millennials are Headed to the Suburbs

Joel Kotkin has the details in a article explaining why the millennials are heading for the suburbs.  If his is correct and the trend toward suburban areas, what is Nevada County doing to welcome these potential, new residence, especially the wealthy ones, that bring their money?

Here is a summation of Kotkin’s argument:

To be sure, core urban areas do attract the young more than other age cohorts. Among people aged 15 to 29 in 2007, there is a clear movement to the core cities five years later in 2012 — roughly a net gain of 2 million. However, that’s only 3 percent of the more than 60 million people in this age group.

Surprisingly, most of this movement to the urban centers comes not from suburbs, but from outside the largest metro areas, reflecting the movement of people from areas with perhaps lower economic opportunity. It also is likely reflective of the intrinsic appeal of metro areas to younger, single people, as well as the presence of many major universities and colleges in older “legacy cities.”

Here’s how the geography of aging works. People are most likely to move to the core cities in their early 20s, but this migration peters out as people enter the end of that often tumultuous decade. By their 30s, they move increasingly to the suburbs, as well as outside the major metropolitan areas (the 52 metropolitan areas with a population over 1,000,000 in 2010).

This pattern breaks with the conventional wisdom but dovetails with research conducted by Frank Magid and Associates that finds that millennials prefer suburbs long-term as “their ideal place to live” by a margin of 2 to 1 over cities.

Based on past patterns, by the time people enter their 50s, the entire gain to the core cities that builds up in the 20s all but dissipates, as more people move to suburbs and to outside the largest metropolitan areas.

Similarly millennials have not, as some hope, given up on home ownership, something closely associated with suburbia. Magid’s surveys of older, married millennials found their desire to own a home was actually stronger than in previous generations. Another survey by the online banking company TD Bank found that 84 percent of renters aged 18 to 34 intend to purchase a home in the future, while another, by Better Homes and Gardens, found that three in four identified homeownership as “a key indicator of success.”

The complete article can be found HERE.  My question is, how should Nevada County’s economic development community react to this interesting long trend?  Your thoughts?

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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