AUSTIN, Texas — A new study has found that people in the millennial age group are moving to Austin the most out of any U.S. city.
A study by the personal finance website SmartAsset found Austin has a strong economy and standard of living that together are acting like a magnet for those of working age.
However, the Austin Business Journal reports that multiple studies have also found that some millennials are leaving Austin due to a higher cost of living and a shortage of available housing impeding first-time homebuyers.
A millennial is defined as someone born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. Almost 24,000 millennials moved to Austin in 2021, according to SmartAsset. Meanwhile, 13,400 millennials left Austin in that same time period – meaning there was really only an increase of about 10,600 new millennials in the area.
This positive net migration has put Austin at the top of the list of U.S. cities when it comes to millennial migration. Denver is in second place and Dallas is in third.
“It's not a surprise that we are seeing an influx of millennials to the region," said Austin Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Bryce Bencivengo. "We have a great quality of life, a lot of job opportunities in the community."
Bencivengo said a lot of those jobs are in tech and manufacturing. He said Austin has a lot to offer outside of work and the office.
Patrick Kearns, 34, is a millennial who moved to Austin 15 months ago. He came from New York with his wife and 18-month-old son and is glad to be here.
"Everybody is outdoors, laid back, it's good vibes overall. I was looking for more space, more of a family-friendly city. Austin was a place that checked out those boxes," said Kearns.
Austin's No. 1 position is a three-spot increase from last year when the city placed fourth. Another interesting thing to note is that in addition to the two cities in Texas, SmartAsset lists two Florida cities, Jacksonville and Tampa, as "millennial hotspots."
SmartAsset also reported that larger cities are seeing a mass exodus of millennials. New York City, for example, saw six times as many millennials leaving than any other city. The city's net migration was -79,800.
The Austin Business Journal reports that the SmartAsset study provides context for wider growth trends Austin has seen in recent years. For example, multiple tech companies – including Samsung and Tesla – have moved to or expanded in the greater Austin area. This led the area's 5-county metro to increase faster than any other metro, in terms of population, every year from 2010 to 2020.
But although the Austin area is growing fast and more workforce-age people are moving here, the city has also become one of the most expensive cities to own a home in. The city also offers less affordable housing options for newcomers and long-time residents alike than other major cities.
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