According to a new study by U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University researchers released Monday, millennial don't move far from home.
The study found that by age 26 more than two-thirds of young adults in the U.S. lived in the same area where they grew up, 80% had moved less than 100 miles (161 kilometers) away and 90% resided less than 500 miles (804 kilometers) away. Migration distances were shorter for Black and Hispanic individuals, compared to white and Asian young adults, and the children of higher income parents traveled farther away from their hometowns than those of less wealthy parents, according to the study.
“For many individuals, the ‘radius of economic opportunity’ is quite narrow,” the report said.
Young adulthood is a period in life when migration is highest in the U.S. The study looked at the likelihood of people born primarily between 1984 and 1992 moving away from the commuting zone they grew up in. Commuting zones are made up of one or more counties that reflect a local labor market, and there are more than 700 commuting zones in the U.S. The birth range in the study overlaps the generation typically referred to as millennials.
It turns out that the most common destinations for young adults were concentrated near where they grew up, said the study which utilized decennial census, survey and tax data.
For instance, three quarters of people who grew up in the Chicago area stayed there. Rockford was the top destination for people who moved away and stayed in Illinois but only represented less than 1% of the young adults from Chicago. Los Angeles was the top destination for those who moved out of state but that accounted for only 1.1% of young adults from Chicago, according to an interactive data tool that accompanies the study.
Atlanta was the most popular destination for young Black adults moving away from their hometowns, followed by Houston and Washington. Young Black adults who grew up in high-income households were multiple times more likely to move to these cities in a “New Great Migration” than those from low-income families, according to the study.
Despite the region’s economic woes and the prospect of job opportunities elsewhere, young adults in Appalachia were less likely to move far from their hometowns compared to those of similar incomes living elsewhere, the report said.