A person wheels her luggage at an airport. (Photographer: Mike Wilkinson/Bloomberg)

Where U.S. Millennials Are Moving to Most

(Bloomberg) -- Younger Americans voting with their feet are most heavily favoring moves to New Haven-Milford, Connecticut and Madison, Wisconsin, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Those areas saw the largest share of arrivals among millennials, according to NAR’s study, which defines the generation as those born from 1980 to 1998. The analysis of the 100 largest metro areas is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, which tracked households with an age range of 19 to 37.

“In comparison to other areas, Madison offers one of the highest wages for millennials,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “This income level combined with the robust employment opportunities and the affordability, make Madison among one of the most appealing locations for millennials who are looking to stay longer and raise families.”

California, with one-eighth of the U.S. population, remains an enticing destination for youthful movers. Among the 18 areas where millennials represent more than two-thirds of recent movers, five are in the Golden State, despite a relatively low housing affordability.

Where U.S. Millennials Are Moving to Most

Employment opportunities and affordability seem to be driving moves to Madison, Wisconsin. The state capital and university town had the lowest unemployment rate among the 100 largest metro areas, thanks in part to attracting millennials that command higher incomes than their generational peers who already live there. Almost one-third of homes for sale are affordable to millennials who recently arrived, according to NAR’s report released Thursday.

In Provo, Utah, the median income for millennials moving to town was $22,800 while it was $57,200 for those already there. The $34,400 gap, the widest among cities in the study, suggesting that the most recent movers tend to be younger.

Where U.S. Millennials Are Moving to Most

Millennials with higher incomes are moving to areas where homes are more affordable. Among the seven areas where new millennials earn at least $10,000 more than existing peers, 43 percent of homes are affordable, compared with a 23 percent average for the 100 largest metro areas. NAR defines housing costs less than 30 percent of income as affordable.

Where U.S. Millennials Are Moving to Most

Millennials tend to reside in and move to locations and cities where employment is stronger. In the majority of the top 10 metro areas, the unemployment rate was lower than the national level in February 2019. Specifically, on average, the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in these areas, according to the report.

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