Despite some reports in the national press suggesting otherwise, a new study released by the Brookings Institute indicates that in their migration patterns, members of the Millennial and Baby Boom generations are not necessarily attracted to the same parts of the country.
The report by Brookings senior fellow William Frey also suggests that where both generations have increasingly settled, offers economic opportunities for businesses needing either their labor or purchasing power.
“Millennials, a highly educated and diverse generation now squarely in their late 20s and 30s, are forming the backbone of various regions’ emerging labor forces and consumer bases,” the report, titled How Migration of Millennials and Seniors Has Shifted Since the Great Recession, indicates.
At the same time, Baby Boomers, “now all aged 55 and above, can reinvigorate communities that retain or attract their more affluent members.”
Using statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5-year American Community Survey, the Brookings report shows that Millennials in the West have been most attracted to the Denver metropolitan area, with the Phoenix and Tucson area proving a secondary lure.
Baby Boomers, on the other hand, have increasingly moved out of metro Denver, but have been hugely attracted to the Phoenix and Tucson area, one of the largest recipients of Baby Boomer immigration in the nation.
The report additionally notes that while Baby Boomers continue to be attracted to a “smaller set of exclusive Sun Belt destinations that have long been associated with retirees, warm climates, and recreation,” Millennials are more attracted to metropolitan areas with high tech opportunities and “knowledge-based economies.”
A press release issued by the Association of General Contractors, in responding to the Brookings study, suggested that these migration patterns should be of interest for developers and contractors looking at such age-specific building projects as schools and senior housing complexes.
By Garry Boulard
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