Where Millennials Are Moving in 2021

Millennial family packing moving truck
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This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

Young professionals have long looked to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and other bustling cities as places of opportunity.

But in the last few years, migration patterns have shifted to show that a smaller number of Americans are moving to these cities. And after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, another study also reveals that the majority of young professionals are living with their parents.

Even so, millennials have been the largest generation in the workforce since 2016, and as they move throughout the country in search of new job opportunities, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities and states where their net migration is the highest.

To do this, we looked at U.S. Census Bureau data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 180 cities. This is SmartAsset’s fifth annual study on where millennials are moving. Read last year’s version here.

For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

1. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
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Denver, Colorado, claims first place in our study with the biggest net migration of millennial residents, as 10,974 millennials moved to the city from a different state in 2019.

Additionally, this generational group makes up 32.92% of the city’s population, which is the fifth-highest percentage overall.

2. Seattle, WA

Seattle
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The millennial population in Seattle, Washington, grew by 2.42% in 2019, with a net migration of 6,164 millennials from out of state.

This generational group happens to make up 33.86% of the city’s population, the highest in our top 10.

3. Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona
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Millennials are 23.23% of the Phoenix, Arizona, population — or 390,570 out of more than 1.68 million.

This generational group grew by 1.53% in 2019, with a net migration of 5,958 millennials to Phoenix from out of state.

4. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas
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Austin millennials make up 31.30% of the Texas capital’s population, which is the 11th-highest population percentage for this generational group in our study.

Austin had a net migration of 5,686 millennials from out of state in 2019.

5. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Colorado Springs, Colorado, had a 2019 net migration of 5,050 millennials from out of state, which is an increase of 4.49%.

This generational group makes up 23.54% of the city’s population — or 112,579 out of 478,215.

6. Frisco, TX

Houses in Frisco, Texas
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The millennial population of this Dallas, Texas, suburb grew by 9.15% in 2019, with a net influx of 3,516 from out of state.

This generational group makes up 19.16% of Frisco’s population, which works out to be 38,419 out of 200,513.

7. Cary, NC

Cary, North Carolina
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Cary, North Carolina, has the smallest population in our top 10, with 171,143 residents overall.

The city had a net migration of 3,364 millennials from out of state in 2019, which is a 9.41% jump — the biggest percentage increase in our study.

8. Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon waterfront
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The millennial population in Portland, Oregon, grew by 1.73% in 2019, with a net migration of 3,311 from out of state.

This generational group makes up 29.23% of the city’s total population, which adds up to 191,026 out of 653,467.

9. Henderson, NV

Henderson, Nevada aerial photo
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Located close to Las Vegas, the city of Henderson, Nevada, saw its millennial population grow by 4.65% in 2019, with a net migration of 3,042 millennials from out of state.

This generational group makes up 20.45% of the city’s population — 65,470 out of 320,190 people.

10. Cape Coral, FL

Cape Coral Florida
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Cape Coral, Florida, claims 10th place in the study results. Millennials make up 18.21% of the population, which adds up to 35,412 out of 194,504.

This generational group grew by 7.53% in 2019, with a net migration into the city of 2,666 from out of state.

Data and Methodology

Working on computer data analysis on a laptop
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To find both the states and cities where millennials are moving, SmartAsset analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.

We determined the states where millennials are moving by looking at the number of people between the ages of 25 and 39 who moved into a state compared with the number who moved out of the state. The net migration for each state is the number of people between the ages of 25 and 39 who moved into the state minus the number of people in the same age group who moved out of the state.

States are ranked in order from those with the highest net migration to those with the lowest net migration.

In determining the cities where millennials are moving, we considered 180 of the largest cities in the U.S. for which data was available.

We found net migration during 2019 in each city by subtracting the number of people between the ages of 25 and 39 who moved out of the city to a different state from the number of people in the same age group who moved into the city from a different state. Cities with the highest net migration ranked the highest, and vice versa.

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