Hipster Suburbs

Well yes, read about them in this article from New Geography.

An excerpt.

It’s an idea echoed everywhere from “Friends” to “Girls”: Young people want to live in cities. And, we’re told, a lot of them (at least the cool ones) do.

It’s a common assumption. But it’s also wrong.

Between 2010 and 2013, the number of 20- to 29-year-olds in America grew by 4 percent. But the number living in the nation’s core cities grew 3.2 percent. In other words, the share of 20-somethings living in urban areas actually declined slightly.

This trend has occurred in supposedly hot cities like San Fransisco, Boston, New York and D.C., notes demographer Wendell Cox. Chicago and Portland, Ore., both widely hailed as youth boom-towns, saw their numbers of 20-somethings decline, too.

To some extent, this is an economic problem. Millennials can’t always afford the most popular cities, which have gotten increasingly expensive and unequal. It doesn’t help that most young people, even with college degrees, are experiencing steadily dropping annual earnings. And their careers are progressing more slowly too.

But it’s not just that. According to the most recent generational survey research done by Magid and Associates, 43 percent of millennials describe the suburbs as their “ideal place to live,” compared to 31 percent of older generations.

Only 17 percent of Millennials identify the urban core as where they want to settle permanently. Another survey, by the Demand Institute (funded by the Conference Board and Neilsen), found that 48 percent of 20-somethings hoped to move to the suburbs one day. And contrary to popular myth, they hoped to own a single-family home. Sixty-one percent seek more space.

These findings may actually understate the suburban preference. As people age, particularly entering the child-bearing period between 30 and 50, they long have displayed a distinct tendency to move to suburban areas.

And why not?

A lot of the amenities that once drew people to gritty cities are popping up in the suburbs instead.

The New York Times documents a trend of people moving from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the verdant suburbs of the Hudson Valley. Increasingly, those towns boast art house films, vegan restaurants and other hip accoutrements.

Incipient hipster suburbs can also be found in places like Montclair, N.J., Claremont, Calif., and even Irvine, whose Millennial population last decade grew more than four times as much as that of downtown Los Angeles. Once a foodie desert, Irvine and its surrounds now boast dim-sum houses, Vietnamese, Korean, sushi and California cuisine restaurants.

That’s thanks to another trend: Immigrants are bypassing cities and moving to the suburbs in droves, according to Brookings. And they’re bringing good, cheap ethnic food along with them.

Retrieved October 9, 2014 from http://www.newgeography.com/content/004558-america-s-newest-hipster-hot-spot-suburbs

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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