Earth & Conservation

High Rents in U.S. Cities Push Out Millennials

One of the largest groups moving away from expensive cities is millennials, new data shows.

<p>Photo: ThinkStock</p>

It's no secret that cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington D.C. have the highest housing costs in the country, but new data from Trulia shows the burden of this high rent is affecting certain groups much more than others.

Data collected was based on demographics such as age, income and occupation, and shows the "move-away rates relative to expectation." Basically, that means the percentage of people from a certain group that are expected to move out of a given city based on how large that group is within the city.

The study found that millennials had the highest move-away rate of any age group. For Silver Spring, MD (a suburb of D.C.), Orange County, Oakland, Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose, the rate of millennial households leaving the city was right around 50%. Many young people aren't making enough money to afford the high housing prices of these cities and so are choosing to leave instead.

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Low-income groups had high move-away rates from these large metro areas as well, while higher income groups appear to be staying put. This indicates a further division of class, where the wealthy can afford the high cost of living in these expensive cities, but those with lower incomes are being forced out. Ultimately, it worsens inequality because good schools, better employment opportunities and better overall services are then only available to the affluent.

Somewhat surprisingly, artists and musicians, as well as food service workers, saw a fairly low move-away rate from these cities, while teachers, healthcare workers and social workers were among those being pushed out at a high rate.

This research can help us further understand the class divisions that exist in our largest cities. The wealthy, educated and talented are flooding to metro areas where they have access to the best resources, services and amenities, creating intense competition for space and further skyrocketing rent and real estate prices. They're forcing out the lower middle class and with them, the young and those just beginning their careers.

HT: CityLab