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Where millennials are moving

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Where millennials are moving

For the last decade-plus, millennials have been held up as an example of how crazy kids these days have become. Avocado toast? Blame it on the millennials. Oversharing on social media? That's just what millennials do. Refusing to grow up? Classic millennial behavior. In reality, the generation born between 1981 and 1996 is as much defined by taste and technology as they are by economics.

Millennials were entering the workforce as the subprime mortgage scandal cratered the global economy. With fewer jobs to land and less money to be made—and with more than 20 years of efforts to union-bust in Washington D.C.—things were as unstable as they'd been since the Great Depression. As a new generation faced such an uncertain job market, members of that generation realized it was up to them to improvise.

Millennials fought back against convention: What's the problem with working from home? Why should I wait to travel? With suffocating student debt, health care out of reach, and buying a house a pipe dream, millennials moved to affordable neighborhoods across Brooklyn, Oakland, Detroit, and Austin. Inevitably, those neighborhoods became gentrified and rental prices skyrocketed.

These days, with the generation's senior cohort approaching 40, it's Gen Z that's become the target of “crazy kids” narratives. Stories of millennials are more about how they raise kids, how they vote, and how it's still nearly impossible for them to buy property. But as millennials age and look to settle down, it's clear they want what every generation before them has wanted: to own their own homes, make money, and raise families. And so, they're leaving those now-bustling neighborhoods and descending on newly unlikely cities across the country where housing is relatively cheap and jobs are hiring.

According to the data compiled by the National Association of Realtors, millennials are still arriving in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but they're also showing up in small metropolises across the Midwest, frozen cities on the Canadian border, and places with more candy shops than bars in the Mountain West. Kids these days, well, now they've become the new adults. And they're going anywhere and everywhere that they can afford to buy a home.

These are the 30 cities where millennials are moving, ranked by the percentage of recent movers who are millennials. Note that ties are broken by the share of millennials to the total population and the median income for millennial recent movers.

You may also like: Best cities for young professionals

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photo.ua // Shutterstock

#30. Salt Lake City, UT

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 61%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 31%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $64,300 (1.7% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.7%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.7%

Utah's capital city has become a magnet for millennials because of a growing job market, but also because of its easy access to incredible nature. National parks like Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Arches are all close by, and Salt Lake City has great proximity to some incredible skiing. From June 2017 to June 2018, Utah led the nation in percentage job growth, with the number of jobs in the state growing by almost 3.5%.

The infusion of young professionals has helped spur economic growth here—but it's also made it harder than ever to buy a home. Salt Lake City is now among the toughest cities in the country for millennials to purchase a home, according to a report from Realtor.com.

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Allan Wood Photography // Shutterstock

#29. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 62%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 17%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $73,300 (11.4% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.8%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.9%

Forbes in 2014 named the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area of Connecticut one of the best destinations for millennials in the country. The draw? High salaries, proximity to Manhattan, and growing industries (the area is home to Starwood Hotels and the cable behemoth Charter). The residents of this southwestern Connecticut hub are highly educated—and wealthy. Sandy Goldstein, president of Stamford's Downtown Special Services District, reported in 2017 that 64% of the residents of Stamford's downtown were millennials with an average income surpassing $100,000 per year.

The increase of a young, college-educated population with disposable income has led to a boom in high-cost luxury rentals, but it hasn't made owning a home any more attainable. Just 12% of the recent millennial arrivals can afford to buy a home in the area, despite a median income of $73,300, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.

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ehrlif // Shutterstock

#28. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 62%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 22%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $48,800 (5.6% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 0.7%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 4%

In the late 1960s, most of Detroit's affluent white population left the major Midwestern metropolis in a city-altering exodus dubbed “White Flight.” In the Great Recession of 2008, Detroit was hit harder than almost any American city; a decade later, a survey by the Metro Times found that the city probably contains significantly more abandoned homes than its official count of 22,000. 

In recent years an art scene, deep cultural history, and affordable housing have led to a rush of millennials to the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area. College-educated millennials made up only 3.5% of Detroit's population as of 2017, according to Census Bureau data, but 40% of those millennials are now homeowners. 

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Bruce Emmerling // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 62%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 22%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $60,600 (0.3% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.9%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.7%

Philadelphia long saw itself as a metropolis-sized version of its patron saint, Rocky Balboa. It was a working-class town that was tough as nails. But in recent years, a boom in the city's health care and aerospace industries has coincided with an influx of young, college-educated, white-collar workers.

From 2000 through 2017, Philadelphia had a 115% growth in bachelor's degree holders—#2 among big cities, according to a report by Campus Philly, which examined Census data. The new millennial arrivals have changed the City of Brotherly Love in many ways, even down to its distinctive accent. The question for some Philadelphia leaders is if the millennials will stay to raise families; according to a 2014 report by Pew ("Millennials in Philadelphia"), only 36% saw the city as a place to raise kids.

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astudio // Shutterstock

#26. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 63%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 21%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $78,900 (6.6% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.9%

New York City has long been a magnet for the young and ambitious. But in the last decade, Manhattan has become all but impossible to live in because of the exorbitant rent on the island. That's meant a flood of young, affluent (and usually white) millennials to traditionally black and Latino neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and, most recently, across state lines in Newark and Jersey City.

The New York City boroughs have been changed racially and socioeconomically, with many locals forced out due to the arrival of Manhattan-level rents in their formerly working-class neighborhoods. New Jersey had long had a “millennial problem”—with its younger generation leaving the state in droves—but young New Yorkers and other millennials choosing Newark and Jersey City for their burgeoning art scenes and close quarters to Manhattan have led to mini-millennial booms in the Jersey locales.

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Sorbis // Shutterstock

#25. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 63%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 24%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $43,700 (29.5% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.9%

Chicago is a large Midwestern city and the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area (also called Chicago-Naperville-Elgin), which includes parts of northern Indiana and southern Wisconsin, is an absolute behemoth. Home to 9.5 million residents, the Chicago MSA is the third-largest metro area in the country, despite losing more than 20,000 residents to domestic migration between 2017 and 2018.

Chicago remains a magnet for young professionals because of its powerful economy—Illinois was home to 37 Fortune 500 companies in 2018, including Walgreens, Boeing, and McDonald's. But in terms of a millennial infusion of talent, Chicago is actually less of a hotspot than some other burgeoning, more affordable Midwestern locales.

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Jeff Bukowski // Shutterstock

#24. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 63%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 26%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $56,300 (18.2% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.6%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.9%

Though the winters will keep some millennial transplants away, Minnesota's Minneapolis and St. Paul are beautiful, clean, and vibrant Twin Cities. Minneapolis is expected to add 40,000 residents between 2010–2020, accounting for more than a 10% population growth, the city's most extreme growth boom since 1950 (St. Paul has grown by 6% since 2010).

Because of the growth, many young people have moved into Minneapolis's downtown and warehouse districts, which has led to a boom in arts and food scenes there. The liberal Twin Cities in one of the Midwest's most liberal states have recently passed housing reforms to offset the housing crisis almost always associated with millennial worker infusion; if they're successful, the laws could become a roadmap for other cities facing housing crises.

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gargola87 // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 63%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 28%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $48,400 (10.7% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.7%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.3%

It wasn't New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles that saw the highest relative growth among millennials from 2010 through 2015; it was actually the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area that ranked #1 on Time magazine's list with a 16.4% change. So why are so many young people moving to the Hampton Roads area? The beautiful Virginia and North Carolina coast, affordable housing, and a growing economy. In the Hampton Roads area, the median home costs just $245,900 and, in addition to the beach, there is also a plethora of beautiful nature in the area.

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#22. Pittsburgh, PA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 65%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 22%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $46,300 (19.8% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 0.8%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.6%

In recent years, Pittsburgh's youth boom has been well-documented: Startups are congregating in the former steel town and bringing with them a young, affluent workforce. Much of the tech growth has come out of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, who both have impressive STEM programs and are national leaders in artificial intelligence research and development.

The biggest pockets of millennials in Pittsburgh live in the East End neighborhoods; the Strip District is a bustling food heaven that runs along the Allegheny River's southeast shore. The tech boom in a town with relatively affordable housing has led to a millennial home-buying rush—according to one LendingTree study, Pittsburgh's millennials were the second most likely to buy a home in the country.

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Atomazul // Shuttestock

#21. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 65%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $60,200 (20.9% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.3%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.9%

Long viewed as the frigid and bitter northern neighbor of New York City, Buffalo has recently emerged as an unlikely hub for millennial homeowners. Though still cold, snowy, and disappointed about its football team, Buffalo's affordability and growing economy have made it a millennial magnet as the generation prepares to settle down.

Realtor.com reports the price per square foot for homes in Buffalo is $98 with a median home value of about $145,900. Compare that with Manhattan, which has an average price per square foot of $1,773, according to a 2018 study from NeighborhoodX. Though many people think of Buffalo as a stop on the way to Niagara Falls or Toronto, the city has become a party town with some great outdoors to enjoy in the non-frozen months.

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Pixabay

#20. El Paso, TX

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 65%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 27%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $43,000 (4.9% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 4.3%

Millennials made up almost a third of the workforce in El Paso, making it the second most millennial-heavy workforce in the country, according to a CareerBuilder study that examined population size of workers age 22–34 from 2001 to 2016. The Texas border town sits across the border from Ciudad Juárez and is a strong contender for the Tex-Mex capital of the world. Along with the great Mexican food comes a growing art and culture scene and many hip restaurants and bars. It's also the American city with the lowest cost of living; Forbes estimates that $50,000 per year is all that's needed to live comfortably.

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Pixabay

#19. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 65%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 29%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $55,600 (19.8% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.1%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.1%

With jaw-dropping nature, West Coast sensibilities, and a booming tech industry, Denver has long been a favorite for millennial movers. In recent years, the infusion of young, highly educated, affluent young people has led rents and housing prices to spike. 

The Denver Metro Association of Realtors market trends committee reports that the median housing price in Denver and surrounding areas went up 11.1% from 2017 to 2018. But that doesn't mean that millennials have stopped coming to the Mile High City; legal weed, beautiful museums, great bars and restaurants, and some of the best skiing in the world a quick drive away continue to make it a magnet for the generation.

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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#18. Rochester, NY

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $62,000 (26.3% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 0.5%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.7%

Like its Upstate New York neighbor Buffalo, Rochester has become a millennial magnet mainly for its affordability. For millennial movers looking to actually own a home, Rochester's median listing price was just $131,964 according to a 2018 Business Insider list. Though the city may be in New York, it's a 5.5-hour drive from Manhattan; Rochester is more of a magnet for the millennial-mover who's ready to settle down.

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Pixabay

#17. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $75,400 (9.5% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.4%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.6%

Boston has been a meeting place and proving ground for young ambitious folks since the days it found itself as the center of the American Revolution. With its world-famous universities—Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, and Tufts, to name a few—it has remained a magnet for high-achieving young people for years and years.

The influx of millennials in recent years has led to a particularly competitive housing and renting market—the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is over $2,000 per month in Boston these days. Still, Massachusetts was ranked as the #1 state for millennials by the website WalletHub, which ranked it first in “education and health,” second in “quality of life,” and third in “economic health.”

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Pixabay

#16. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $109,500 (2.2% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.8%

The San Francisco Bay Area, along with Brooklyn, has become the symbol of gentrification and the effects of an infusion of young, white wealth in an area. These days, it takes a household income of $123,268 to live comfortably in San Francisco, according to GOBankingRates.

It's not much cheaper in San Francisco's eastern, formerly working-class neighbor: Oakland is now the fourth most expensive city in the country. Still, the area is one of the centers of the booming tech industry, is home to some of the greatest restaurants in the world, and has views, museums, architecture, and parks to rival London, Paris, or Rome.

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Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

#15. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 25%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $110,600 (8.1% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 3.3%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.8%

The area of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is better known as Silicon Valley, a Northern California region that's the beating heart of the tech industry. Home to Stanford University, Google, Apple, Facebook, and many more tech giants, Silicon Valley has become a magnet for talented engineers and other ambitious millennials during this 21st-century Gold Rush—there's gold to be found in that valley. 

But amazingly, GOBankingRates.com reports that the cost of living in San Jose is just about the same as the cost of living in New York these days. For those with jobs at engineer jobs at top companies, the area can feel paradisiacal; but for most residents young and old, it's become tough in Silicon Valley.

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Johan Erkki // Shutterstock

#14. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 27%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $63,100 (3.7% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.9%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.5%

Sitting a couple of hours south of Los Angeles and a couple of hours north of Tijuana, San Diego's coastline, climate, and location make it a magnet for people young and old. But though droves of millennials are moving to San Diego, setting down roots is a trickier proposition.

Because of San Diego's expensive housing, only 2% of the millennials who moved to the area could afford to buy a home, according to aNational Association of Realtors study, which looked at 2017 Census data. So while the beautiful California town is great for some momentary fun in the sun, the mix of expensive property costs and less high-paying jobs makes it one of the harder spots on this list to settle down.

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ELW // Shutterstock

#13. Bakersfield, CA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 28%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $36,700 (8.3% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.1%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 8%

In an era when rent in coastal California cities is nearly impossible to afford, California's major inland cities are the ones growing at the fastest pace. Bakersfield, the state's ninth-largest metropolis, saw a 1.1% population growth this past year, reported by the California Department of Finance; and many of those new additions were millennials.

The Central Valley city is far from the culture capital of California, and with some of the worst air pollution in the country, it's not exactly the image of California as sold on TV. But the average house sells for just $249,600, according to Zillow, which is enough to convince many millennials to go California dreamin' in Bakersfield.

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EQRoy // Shutterstock

#12. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 28%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $51,500 (14.2% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.8%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.8%

Omaha, Neb., isn't the first place people think of for that exciting post-college move, but both Fortune and ZipRecruiter make compelling cases that maybe it should be. With a low cost of living, a growing startup field, and a good music scene, Omaha ranked #5 on a Fortune list of cities with the happiest employees. The fact that the median home cost just $183,000 means that 47% of Omaha's millennials are homeowners.

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#11. Provo-Orem, UT

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 67%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 40%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $22,800 (60.1% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 3.2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.6%

One of the happiest places on Earth, according to a Gallup-Healthways survey, the young and religious Provo-Orem has more candy shops than bars and the highest rate of marriage among millennials. It's a place to go if you love the outdoors and prefer a bike ride with your significant other to a night on the town. With tech entrepreneurs attempting to brand Utah as “Silicon Slopes,” the state has become a burgeoning remote hub of the tech industry.

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#10. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 68%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 29%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $50,400 (2.4% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.3%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.5%

The Durham and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina is home to two amazing colleges and an exploding tech industry. The talent coming out of Duke and University of North Carolina led to over $1 billion in startup funding last year alone, according to the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

The combination of the growing industry and a hip restaurant and bar scene has led to an influx of millennials in the area. As always, the rush of new renters and buyers has pushed up the housing market: A home in Durham went for an average of $168,000 in March 2013 and an average of $258,000 in March 2018, reports Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan of The Herald-Sun. 

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trekandshoot // Shutterstock

#9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 69%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $67,700 (5.9% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 0.9%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 4%

The bright lights! The big beaches! More celebrities than you can shake a stick at! Los Angeles has always been a landing spot for the young and ambitious, but a growing tech scene means that it's now more than just industry types heading to La La Land. Google, Snapchat, Oculus, and many more tech companies have opened headquarters in Los Angeles, bringing with them a flood of highly educated and increasingly affluent young workers.

So like other popular millennial hubs, Los Angeles's rents have begun to skyrocket, changing the look and feel of traditionally working-class, non-white neighborhoods, especially in the parts of the city farther from the coast.

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Michael Shake // Shutterstock

#8. Toledo, OH

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 69%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 28%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $32,600 (14.2% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.0%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 4.6%

Toledo, Ohio, has been losing population since 1970, but it's also getting younger in recent years, with millennials making up 69% of its recent movers. The 280,000-person northwestern Ohio city is home to a minor league baseball team, a revitalized downtown, some beautiful parks, and, most enticingly of all, affordable housing.

In 2011, Toledo was featured on CNN's “10 dirt-cheap housing markets” list, with a median price of $64,900; last year, the median price had jumped to $124,000, according to the Toledo Regional Association of Realtors.

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Hulabear // Shutterstock

#7. Urban Honolulu, HI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 70%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 23%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $55,600 (20.0% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.7%

It's not hard to imagine what draws millennials (or anyone else) to pull up stakes and move to Honolulu. The largest city in Hawaii is home to world-famous beaches, perfect weather, and some jaw-dropping nature.

These days, a growing tech industry means that the island city's economy is more than just tourism and agriculture; homegrown entrepreneurs and a revitalized warehouse district are making Honolulu feel like, well, a city. But with the influx of millennials comes the usual city issues, which aren't new to Honolulu: The cost of living is incredibly high and the traffic is soul-sucking. 

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vincent noel // Shutterstock

#6. Richmond, VA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 70%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 24%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $62,400 (8.0% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.6%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.1%

From 2010 to 2015, Richmond, Va., was second only to Virginia Beach in attracting millennials in terms of rate of growth, according to data from Robert Charles Lesser & Co. Part of that growth came as a result of a burgeoning hip art scene in the early 2010s when rents were cheap and Virginia Commonwealth University art students could settle in Richmond.

As it goes with hip cities, artists begot restaurants begot young professionals begot a housing boom. In Richmond, the price of housing went up 6% from 2017 to 2018; still, it's a beautiful, historic, and relatively affordable place to live and millennials keep showing up in droves.

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Dene' Miles // Shutterstock

#5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 70%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 29%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $68,900 (13.2% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 3.3%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.9%

Home to Amazon and Microsoft, two of the most valuable companies on the planet, Seattle has become a northern satellite of Silicon Valley. The thriving industry, matched with cleanliness, jaw-dropping nature, and an incredible food and art scene, makes the Emerald City an obvious draw for millennials. But the infusion of wealthy tech workers has made Seattle expensive and made it harder for locals and socioeconomically diverse transplants to stay. But even with rent hikes and about 152 rainy days per year, millennials are still arriving in the gorgeous Northwest city every day.

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Tommy Liggett // Shutterstock

#4. Syracuse, NY

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 73%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 24%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $29,300 (42.9% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.1%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.7%

Located right in the center of New York state, Syracuse is best known for its famous university and its proximity to many other New York colleges (Cornell, Hamilton, Colgate, and more). In recent years, Syracuse has also become a place where millennials are settling after their studies are done, partly because of the area's affordable housing.

In Syracuse, millennials can afford 48% of the houses on the market; the median housing cost is just $85,300, according to BestPlaces.net. For young people, the city's nightlife is a draw, especially the bars and restaurants in its historic Armory Square.

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Malgosia S // Shutterstock

#3. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 73%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 27%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $53,100 (5.3% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 2.2%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.6%

Michigan's second-largest city is booming economically, both with startups and old institutions like Meijer and Amway. Even so, the median cost of rent in Grand Rapids was 16% lower than the national median average in 2016, according to Trulia’s Market Trends. On top of all that, Grand Rapids has another draw for millennials: a booming craft beer scene. There are so many breweries that Grand Rapids now offers multiple craft brewery tours.

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Christian Hinkle // Shuttestock

#2. New Haven-Milford, CT

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 75%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 22%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $53,600 (2.2% lower than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.4%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 3.8%

Three-quarters of the recent movers to the New Haven, Conn., area are millennials, which is surprising given the state's reputation as a slow-living sister of its wilder sibling (New York City). But the New Haven area has become an attractive market for older millennials to set down roots; the median housing price in the New Haven area was $227,500 in 2018, according to the New Haven Register in January 2019.

That affordable housing paired with a burgeoning startup scene has made the area especially appealing; a roughly 1.5-hour train ride to Manhattan is also a definite perk.

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#1. Madison, WI

- Share of millennial recent movers to recent movers of any age (2017): 75%
- Share of millennials to total population (2017): 32%
- Median income for millennial recent movers (2017): $68,500 (10.3% higher than total millennial income in 2017)
- One-year employment growth (Feb. 2019): 1.7%
- Unemployment rate (Feb. 2019): 2.2%

Madison is best known for being home to the University of Wisconsin, but the state capital is also home to a burgeoning startup scene. The Midwestern city sits on Lake Monona, which is gorgeous in the summer and home to a giant Polar Plunge fundraiser every frigid winter.

The town is a bit fitness-obsessed and has ample outdoor opportunities, despite getting very, very cold during Wisconsin's harsh winter. It's fun and young, with high-paying jobs and relatively affordable housing (though it's getting more expensive every year). If you're a millennial looking to move, what's not to like?

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