Thousands of millennials are moving to the suburbs of Riverside, Calif., San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Fla. The burbs of those three metro areas saw the greatest growth in the number of adults aged 25 to 34 between 2010 and 2015, according to data from RCLCO, a real estate analytics company.
“Riverside is a long way from Austin, Portland or Seattle in terms of coolness, but a lot of those things that make those cities attractive to the millennials — craft breweries, independent stores and restaurants — they’re now springing up here,” says local real estate developer Randall Lewis. “Historically, this is a marketplace people would come to for housing affordability, but now that a lot of millennials are postponing the buying decision, there’s a strong apartment market out here.”
The apartment growth in the Riverside metro area reflects a broader trend — researchers found “urban” areas outside of cities and “suburban” areas within cities when analyzing population density. In part thanks to those new living options, many suburban areas are gaining millennials. Of the 50 metro areas RCLCO analyzed, the vast majority saw an increase in suburban millennials from 2010 to 2015, while just seven saw a decline.
Hover or tap circles on the map below to see the population change for that suburb.
Some areas, like Riverside, saw millennial growth in the city and suburbs alike. But other regions, like Orlando Fla., gained millennials in the suburbs, while losing them in the city.
Nationally, nearly 73% of 25-to 34-year-olds lived in the suburbs in 2015, and 21% lived in cities — a ratio that is unchanged from 2010. That challenges the notion that cities are all millennial magnets. But there has been an increase in the number of young adults in urban areas, largely due to a rise in births 25 years ago, says Dowell Myers, professor of demography and urban planning at University of Southern California.
“Between 1978 and 1990, there was a 32% increase in births, so now there are 32% more young adults in the city,” explains Myers. “That upswing has led people to think that there’s a real change in taste, when there’s just a lot more young people born 25 years ago.” He believes American cities have reached “peak millennial,” with the largest millennial birth cohort passing age 25 in 2015, and smaller cohorts to follow. That demographic shift likewise explains the millennial boom in the suburbs.
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