millenials moving

A new study found that most millennials stayed put in 2023, but those who moved typically chose red-leaning states and cities over blue locations. HireAHelper, an online marketplace for finding moving services, recently released its Millenial Migration study, analyzing Census Bureau data to determine how many millennials moved in 2023, where they moved to, and why. Over the past 10 years, the share of millennials who moved has dropped from 21 percent in 2013 to just under 11 percent in 2023, which is a sharper drop than the overall national decline in moving.

Lifestyle changes and economic reasons topped the list of reasons why millennials chose to move, including wanting better or new housing, changing jobs, wanting to establish a household, and wanting to own a home or to find cheaper housing. The number of millennials moving for more affordable housing is the highest it’s been since 2011, HireAHelper claimed, as mortgage rates and rental prices continue to climb. The desire for more affordable housing coincides with the study’s findings that millennials typically chose red states and locations over blue states and cities for their big move in 2023.

Texas attracted the highest number of millennials from out-of-state, according to the study, with about 400,000 from this generation settling down in the Lone Star State. Montana had the highest net positive migration than any other state, with 95 percent more millennials moving in than moving away, followed by Connecticut at 56 percent and Maine at 54 percent. Oklahoma, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona were the next top locations that enjoyed positive net migration from this generation.

HireAHelper spokesperson and consumer advocate Miranda Marquit believes these locations are attractive to those seeking a slower pace of life while still being able to access the amenities major cities nearby offer. She remarked, “I think the thing that holds both Montana and Connecticut in common is you have these mid-sized cities that offer some amenities but also offer what a lot of people would consider a little bit of a slower pace of life. Right?”

She added, “So if you’re moving out to Connecticut, you’re moving out for that kind of suburban feel to get a little way away from the hustle and bustle while still having access to maybe a city close by. Now, if you’re moving to Montana, you’re looking for something else, a different kind of lifestyle, I’m sure. And so I think that it really depends on what kind of lifestyle you are looking for, what matters to you.” Deep blue locations, however, like New York, California, Massachusetts and Illinois, saw the highest negative migration rate, with 52 percent, 39 percent, 28 percent and 25 percent more millennials leaving than moving in, respectively.

Washington, D.C.; Iowa; Louisiana; Wisconsin; North Dakota; and Arkansas also saw more millennials leave than come in. At the metropolitan level, Tampa, Florida, topped the list of desirable locations, with nearly twice as many people moving there than leaving. Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, were also two top locations for positive millennial net migration. More millennials fled New York, San Jose, California; Los Angeles, Detroit; San Francisco; El Paso, Texas; Milwaukee; Chicago; and Miami metro areas than came in, the study found.

HireAHelper’s research also found that 60 percent of millennials who wanted to move in 2023 said they couldn’t because of financial strain. Marquit believes the decline is primarily due to an everyday life stage shift for this generation but also reflects current economic challenges.

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