December 10, 2013

YOU MEET A MATE IN A CITY THEN MOVE SOMEWHERE DECENT:

THE GEOGRAPHY OF AGING: WHY MILLENNIALS ARE HEADED TO THE SUBURBS (Joel Kotkin, 12/09/2013, New Geography)

We asked demographer Wendell Cox to crunch the latest demographic data for us to determine where people have moved by age cohort from 2007 to 2012. The data reveals the obvious: People do not maintain the same preferences all their lives; their needs change as they get older, have children and, finally, retire. Each stage leads them toward somewhat different geographies.

As it turns out, the vast majority of young people in their late teens and 20s - over 80 percent -- live outside core cities. Roughly 38 percent of young Americans live in suburban areas, while another 45 percent live outside the largest metropolitan areas, mostly in smaller metro areas.

To be sure, core urban areas do attract the young more than other age cohorts. Among people aged 15 to 29 in 2007, there is a clear movement to the core cities five years later in 2012 -- roughly a net gain of 2 million. However, that's only 3 percent of the more than 60 million people in this age group.

Surprisingly, most of this movement to the urban centers comes not from suburbs, but from outside the largest metro areas, reflecting the movement of people from areas with perhaps lower economic opportunity. It also is likely reflective of the intrinsic appeal of metro areas to younger, single people, as well as the presence of many major universities and colleges in older "legacy cities."

Here's how the geography of aging works. People are most likely to move to the core cities in their early 20s, but this migration peters out as people enter the end of that often tumultuous decade. By their 30s, they move increasingly to the suburbs, as well as outside the major metropolitan areas (the 52 metropolitan areas with a population over 1,000,000 in 2010).

This pattern breaks with the conventional wisdom but dovetails with research conducted by Frank Magid and Associates that finds that millennials prefer suburbs long-term as "their ideal place to live" by a margin of 2 to 1 over cities.

Based on past patterns, by the time people enter their 50s, the entire gain to the core cities that builds up in the 20s all but dissipates, as more people move to suburbs and to outside the largest metropolitan areas.
Posted by at December 10, 2013 5:32 PM
  
blog comments powered by Disqus
« ALONG THE ANGLOSPHERE: | Main | THE LONG WAR IS OVER; GUT IT: »