gen z

Gen Zers want to live in quiet, simpler locations in mountain regions or the Midwest. Emilia Mann, a senior analyst at StorageCafe, said Gen Z didn’t have the same location preferences as older generations.

Mann told Business Insider via email, “Gen Zers are increasingly drawn to simpler living in their housing choices. Unlike millennials, who often gravitate to DC, Washington, and Illinois, Gen Zers tend to favor states with lower population density, from the mountainous terrains of Idaho and Montana to the plains of Nebraska and Kansas.” Part of what’s driving Gen Zers to these states is the acceptance of remote work, more affordable homes, and the closeness to outdoor activities.

RentCafe data showed Gen Z homeowners totaled 2 million in 2022, while Gen X and millennial homeowners totaled 24.4 million and 18.2 million, respectively. Doug Ressler, the business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, told Business Insider those older generations were holding onto their homes as interest rates stayed high, leading Gen Zers to find new places to live due to lack of affordability and supply. Ressler said that because Gen Z couldn’t get into the housing market in popular cities, renting or buying, they were casting a wider net in their home search.

Ressler said, “We see the Gen Zers be more movement-oriented, especially in long distances.” To determine the number of Gen Z movers limited to those aged 18 to 23, StorageCafe analyzed 2021 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. It also used the Census data to determine the median value of owner-occupied housing. For rent values, it relied on data from Yardi Matrix.

There are 10 states where Gen Zers are migrating to, as determined by StorageCafe, ranked by the percentage of total newcomers who identify as members of that generation. Those states are South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Utah, Montana, Nebraska, and Indiana.

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