Many Millennials Love the Suburbs/Exurbs

Actually almost everybody does, but this article from New Geography focuses on the Millennials, who still are “somewhat more inclined than the general public to live in the urban core”. (final paragraph of excerpt)

An excerpt.

America’s suburbs and exurbs continue to dominate population growth among post-college Millennials, those aged 25 to 34 in the 53 major metropolitan areas. This is indicated by data in the just released 2013/2017 American Community Survey (ACS), which provides a mid-decade snapshot of US demography. With its middle sample year of 2015, the 2013/2017 ACS is most representative of the middle of the decade between the 2010 and 2020 censuses (Note 1).

Population Change

Between 2010 and 2013/2017, the national number of 25-34 year olds increased by more than 2 million. This analysis uses the City Sector Model (Figure 5), which classifies small areas (ZIP codes, more formally, ZIP Code Tabulation Areas, or ZCTAs) in metropolitan areas in the nation based upon their function as urban cores, suburbs, or exurbs (Note 2).

The 2013/2017 ACS data indicates that 78.9 percent of the age 25 to 34 major metropolitan area growth since the 2010 census has occurred in the suburbs and exurbs (Figures 1 and 2). Overall, the suburbs and exurbs represented nearly 1.725 million new 25-34 residents.

The suburban and exurban gains were largest in the Earlier Suburbs (generally post-World War II inner suburbs), which attracted 42.0 percent of the increase (915,000). The Later Suburbs (generally outer suburbs), accounted for 26.1 percent of the growth (570,000), while the Exurbs (generally outside the continuously built-up urban area), captured 10.8 percent of the 20-34 population growth (235,000).

The urban cores accounted for 21.1 percent of the 20-34 population growth, or 460,000 new residents. Most of this was in the Inner Ring, with 18.3 percent of the gain (400,000). The CBD (central business district) accounted for the balance of 2.3 percent (60,000).

Distribution of Population

The post-college Millennial population is somewhat more inclined than the general public to live in the urban core (Figure 3). This is especially evident in the CBD, where the share of 20-34’s is 80 percent higher than that of the total population. Both figures, it is critical to note, are very small (2.3 percent versus 1.3 percent). This propensity is also shown in the Inner Ring, where 20-34’s are about a quarter more likely to live than the overall population.

Retrieved January 7, 2019 from

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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