Most American cities have already reached “Peak Millennial” as the number of young people moving to trendy downtown areas has finally started to wane after years of growth (coincidentally, this trend has started to accelerate just as new data showing 30% of student-loan borrowers are delinquent has surfaced, but who are we to imply causation?) Still, even if they don’t have the means to live downtown, living the city life is still an aspiration for millions of millennials who crave the walkable lifestyle and proximity to friends as more of them put off having families and buying homes.
To be sure, demographic trends are constantly in flux. And for anybody hoping to predict which neighborhoods might become hotspots for gentrification in the not-too-distant future, RentCafe has ranked zip codes in the 30 largest American cities by the popularity among the millennial cohort. To arrive at its conclusions, RentCafe looked at the increase in the millennial population in each individual zip code over a period of five years.
Here are some of the highlights of what they found:
- Downtown Los Angeles dominated the rankings, taking the top two zip codes.
- On the East Coast, Lower Manhattan dominated the rankings, with millennials flocking to Battery Park City, the most expensive zip code in the US.
- Portland, Ore. has also become a hot spot, with millennials increasingly moving to Kerns-Laurelhurst.
- Denver has four zip codes in the top 20 fastest-growing in the US
- In total, Los Angeles had 3 neighborhoods in the top 20, while Manhattan had 2, Philly had 2 and San Francisco had 2.
A full accounting of RentCafe’s top 20 hottest neighborhoods are ranked below:
However, when measuring by total millennial population, the totals look slightly different. By this metric, downtown Chicago dominates, with a whopping 73% of residents in the city’s West Loop neighborhood falling into the millennial cohort. Next on that list is Philadelphia’s Manayunk.
The Financial District in lower Manhattan comes in third, with 71% of the total population. Boston’s financial district takes fourth place, followed by DuPont Circle in Washington, DC. The downtown areas of Denver, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Columbus, Charlotte and Indianapolis also emerge are also hot spots.
While it’s definitely true that millennials receive more than their fair share of criticism from their elders (not all of it deserved), data show that – contrary to being lazy – they are actually the generation most likely to forfeit vacation time. So if they can’t afford a home or a fancy vacation, at least they can try and make up for it by living in a hip neighborhood with a vibrant dating scene and where most of the bars are walking distance.
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