The Millennial Generation is on the Move

The millennial generation is known for a number of things. They love self-expression (as you can easily tell from a quick glance on Instagram or Snapchat). They’re diverse in a variety of ways, including racially and socially. And they’re the most tech-savvy generation yet.

But according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. renters between the ages of 18 and 34, millennials have one other thing they’re known for: They’re a generation of movers.

Just under half of the millennial renters surveyed said they’re living in a different city from their college or hometown. Here’s what the millennial generation has to say about why they’re moving so much (and why they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon):

Just how many millennials are moving? Well, 43% of the survey respondents said they’d moved away from their college city or hometown and 44% of respondents live in a more urban city currently than the one they grew up in.

And despite the fact that nearly 6 out of 10 renters surveyed said affordability is at the top of their priority list when it comes to finding an apartment, almost half of those surveyed “upgraded” to a more densely populated urban area than they were living in before.

So, why is that? Well, as someone who moved from small-town Iowa to Portland, Oregon, to Chicago, I can tell you that bigger cities have a lot to offer younger generations. Millennials who are looking for varied job opportunities (often in technology or Web fields), an exciting social life, and myriad events or activities every day may find cities to be more in line with their desired lifestyles

But whether members of the millennial generation moved to a bigger city or a smaller one, the survey revealed that the main reason for moving at all was because of a job opportunity. In fact, 43% of the millennial renters surveyed, across all ages, said a new career move or post-college opportunity was what spurred their transition.

Finding a job was by far the most common reason for millennials to move to a different town or city. At 21%, the next biggest reason for moving didn’t even rate half as many responses as a new job opportunity did.

So what did more than one-fifth of renters move for? According to the survey, many millennials chose to move for love– to be closer to a significant other. Although this is the second most common reason millennials gave for moving, the fact that moving for love fell so far below getting a new job may suggest something: Perhaps millennials are somewhat more career-oriented than other generations were at a young age?

Just under 20% of survey respondents said they’d moved recently to be closer to their families. This indicates that, although millennials have access to an amazing variety of technology, including apps and sites that allow them to be in constant contact with out-of-state friends and family members, being near family is still important to a great deal of millennials.

Coming up last on the list, a small percentage of the renters surveyed decided to move simply to try something new. Just 11% of respondents gave this answer, which could mean that practicality outweighs adventure for most of the millennial generation. In other words, it seems that most millennials would rather have a job in place or family to lean on when making a big move.

Just as many millennials responded to the survey that they plan to move again within the next year as those that said they had moved recently– 44% are planning on making another move, though not necessarily to a completely new city. And the reasons they gave for this were fairly similar.

Of those who said they plan on moving, more than one out of five said it was to search for a more affordable place, while only 18% said they were planning on moving to search for new or better jobs. And despite the fact that moving back in with parents seemed like it was trending over the past few years, just 3% of those surveyed said they were going to live with mom and dad again.

According to a survey of 1,000 U.S. renters between the ages of 18 and 34.
Tags: Lindsay Smith, young professionals