More millennials are ditching big US cities for the suburbs, and it shows just how dire the unaffordable housing crisis is

Millennials are trading in expensive cities like New York City for more affordable locations.

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Millennials are trading in expensive cities like New York City for more affordable locations.
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Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

  • Around 27,000 young adults moved away from major US cities in 2017, reported Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal.
  • A high cost of living and unaffordable housing are pushing millennials to the suburbs.
  • Even rich millennials are ditching expensive cities, like New York City, in favor of more affordable places, like Dallas, according to SmartAsset reports.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Millennials are leaving big cities in the dust.

In 2018, 27,000 residents ages 25 to 39 moved away from US cities with populations exceeding 500,000, reported Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal, who analyzed Census data released this month.

While that’s less than the 54,000 residents in the same age group who left urban cities in 2017, it’s part of a reversal that began in 2010 when young adults flocked to the big cities they’re leaving now, wrote Adamy and Overberg. Separate Census data, they said, reveal that the majority of people in these age groups who leave cities are moving to the suburbs.

In a separate WSJ article published earlier this year, Valerie Bauerlein wrote that millennials are reviving the suburbs as they flee cities in search of more affordable housing. They’re following in baby boomers’ footsteps, albeit belatedly – and on their own terms, being more selective about location.

Housing is so unaffordable in big cities that residents are resorting to drastic measures to stay. In San Francisco and Chicago, people are living in cars and houseboats. Meanwhile, those in New York City are paying millions to live in basements, reported Stefanos Chen for The New York Times.

Read more: More rich millennials are abandoning New York than any other state – and they’re not the only ones fleeing the high cost of living

Millennials of all wealth levels are fleeing expensive cities

Even rich millennials are leaving expensive areas in droves. The high costs of living in New York City and San Francisco are pushing wealthy residents away from both cities, Business Insider previously reported.

In fact, a 2019 SmartAsset study found that New York is the No. 1 state rich millennials are moving from. The report used data from the IRS’ 2015-2016 tax year to take a look at the states wealthy millennials were moving to and from. It defined rich millennials as people younger than 35 with an adjusted gross income of at least $100,000.

It found that rich millennials are seeking out states – like Colorado and Texas – that are home to more affordable cities.

A separate SmartAsset report underscored these findings, using net migration data from the US Census Bureau to track the top cities millennials were settling in. It subtracted the number of people ages 20 to 34 who moved out of the city from the number of people in the same age range who moved into the same city in 2017.

It found that the southern portion of the United States dominated, with five cities making the top 10. Dallas, Texas, ranked No. 1. Colorado Springs, Colorado; Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia, also made the list.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal »