Where Your Generation Lives

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For many Americans, the choice of where to live is not much of a choice at all. For a number reasons they live where they live and that’s that. Many others do have a choice, and those choices are often determined by generational concerns.

Millennials, for example, are not likely to choose to live in cities that are popular among their boomer parents (or grandparents). And the reverse is also true.

Researchers at Realtor.com looked at Census Bureau migration data for the years 2011 to 2015, along with the number of page views by each generation (millennials, Gen Xers and boomers) and the percentage change in home ownership between the years 2016 and 2018.

In order to make the list as a most popular destination for each generation, the metro area had to have gained more population than it lost, and the researchers also considered the percentage change of new residents from each generation moving in or out of the city.

Several cities made two of the three lists, but only one made all three: Austin, Texas. Boomers ranked six cities in Florida among their top 10, and Texas took half of the top 10 list for Gen Xers.

The 10 most popular cities for millennials were:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Houston, Texas
  4. Dallas, Texas
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Denver, Colorado
  7. Boston, Massachusetts
  8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  9. State College, Pennsylvania
  10. Austin, Texas

The 10 most popular metros among Gen Xers were:

  1. Houston, Texas
  2. Miami, Florida
  3. Dallas, Texas
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Riverside, California
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Odessa, Texas
  8. San Antonio, Texas
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. Charlotte, North Carolina

The 10 most popular cities for baby boomers were:

  1. Phoenix, Arizona
  2. North Port, Florida
  3. Miami, Florida
  4. The Villages, Florida
  5. Punta Gorda, Florida
  6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  7. Riverside, California
  8. Cape Coral, Florida
  9. Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  10. Naples, Florida

Visit the Realtor.com website for more details and commentary on what makes these cities so attractive.