Special Report

40 Places Young People Are Moving

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Every year, tens of millions of Americans change residences — some 3.2% move to a new county, and 2.3% move to a new state. Young college- and career-bound people tend to move more, and millennials are almost twice as likely to move counties as the average American.

Young people tend to move for a variety of reasons, including work, school, or to be closer to friends and family. In some parts of the country, young people are arriving at rates more than five times greater than the national average.

To determine the 40 places where young people are moving to, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed millennial migration to U.S. counties using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. We ranked the counties based on the number of 25 to 34-year-olds who moved there from a different county in 2016 as a share of the total county population.

Click here to see the full list of places where young people are moving.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons

40. Elmore County, Idaho
> Commuting zone: Mountain Home, ID
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.3% of population
> Median age: 31.5 years (6.7 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.6%
> Unemployment rate: 3.2%

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Source: benkrut / Getty Images

39. Logan County, Illinois
> Commuting zone: Lincoln, IL
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.3% of population
> Median age: 40.4 years (2.2 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.4%
> Unemployment rate: 4.8%

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

38. Butts County, Georgia
> Commuting zone: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.3% of population
> Median age: 38.8 years (0.6 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.2%
> Unemployment rate: 4.3%

Source: Thinkstock

37. San Francisco County, California
> Commuting zone: San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.3% of population
> Median age: 38.7 years (0.5 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 54.8%
> Unemployment rate: 2.6%

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Source: chamey / iStock

36. Williams County, North Dakota
> Commuting zone: Williston, ND
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.3% of population
> Median age: 32.3 years (5.9 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 22.5%
> Unemployment rate: 2.3%

Source: Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia Commons

35. Durham County, North Carolina
> Commuting zone: Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 35.1 years (3.1 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 46.9%
> Unemployment rate: 3.8%

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Source: raksyBH / Getty Images

34. Comanche County, Oklahoma
> Commuting zone: Lawton, OK
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 32.6 years (5.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.7%
> Unemployment rate: 4.5%

Source: coleong / Getty Images

33. Suffolk County, Massachusetts
> Commuting zone: Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 32.6 years (5.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 42.7%
> Unemployment rate: 3.8%

Source: andycoxphotog / Flickr

32. Greene County, North Carolina
> Commuting zone: N/A
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 40.2 years (2.0 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.2%
> Unemployment rate: 4.3%

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Source: PhotosbyAndy / Getty Images

31. Fredericksburg, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 30.1 years (8.1 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 42.3%
> Unemployment rate: 3.7%

Source: bobistraveling / Flickr

30. Onslow County, North Carolina
> Commuting zone: Jacksonville, NC
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 26.8 years (11.4 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 19.5%
> Unemployment rate: 4.6%

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Source: fotoguy22 / Getty Images

29. Bradford County, Florida
> Commuting zone: N/A
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 41.4 years (3.2 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 11.8%
> Unemployment rate: 3.6%

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

28. Dale County, Alabama
> Commuting zone: Ozark, AL
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.4% of population
> Median age: 37.3 years (0.9 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.1%
> Unemployment rate: 5.2%

Source: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons

27. Liberty County, Texas
> Commuting zone: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.5% of population
> Median age: 36.7 years (1.5 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.0%
> Unemployment rate: 6.3%

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Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

26. Christian County, Kentucky
> Commuting zone: Clarksville, TN-KY
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.5% of population
> Median age: 28.8 years (9.4 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.7%
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Source: dougtone / Flickr

25. Jefferson County, New York
> Commuting zone: Watertown-Fort Drum, NY
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.5% of population
> Median age: 32.6 years (5.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.8%
> Unemployment rate: 4.8%

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Source: robertthigpen / Flickr

24. Vernon Parish, Louisiana
> Commuting zone: Fort Polk South, LA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.5% of population
> Median age: 30.6 years (7.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.8%
> Unemployment rate: 8.5%

Source: Thinkstock

23. Richmond, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Richmond, VA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.5% of population
> Median age: 33.6 years (4.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 36.7%
> Unemployment rate: 3.8%

Source: LorraineHudgins / Getty Images

22. Norfolk, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.6% of population
> Median age: 30.7 years (7.5 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.6%
> Unemployment rate: 3.9%

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Source: Acutemi / Wikimedia Commons

21. Logan County, Colorado
> Commuting zone: Sterling, CO
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.7% of population
> Median age: 37.5 years (0.7 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.7%
> Unemployment rate: 2.9%

Source: epantha / Getty Images

20. Morgan County, Tennessee
> Commuting zone: Knoxville, TN
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.7% of population
> Median age: 41.4 years (3.2 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 7.5%
> Unemployment rate: 5.4%

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Source: Purestock / Getty Images

19. Riley County, Kansas
> Commuting zone: Manhattan, KS
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.7% of population
> Median age: 25.2 years (13.0 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 46.0%
> Unemployment rate: 3.4%

Source: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

18. Rusk County, Texas
> Commuting zone: Longview, TX
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.9% of population
> Median age: 38.9 years (0.7 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.7%
> Unemployment rate: 4.6%

Source: Melpomenem / Getty Images

17. Fairfax, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Young adults who arrived last year: 3.9% of population
> Median age: 40.1 years (1.9 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 54.7%
> Unemployment rate: 2.6%

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Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

16. Taylor County, Florida
> Commuting zone: N/A
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.0% of population
> Median age: 41.8 years (3.6 more than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.8%
> Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Source: pleia2 / Flickr

15. Prince George County, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Richmond, VA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.0% of population
> Median age: 37.3 years (0.9 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 22.1%
> Unemployment rate: 3.9%

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Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

14. Lamar County, Mississippi
> Commuting zone: Hattiesburg, MS
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.2% of population
> Median age: 34.7 years (3.5 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 36.8%
> Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Source: jcutrer / Wikimedia Commons

13. Bee County, Texas
> Commuting zone: Beeville, TX
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.3% of population
> Median age: 36.3 years (1.9 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 8.9%
> Unemployment rate: 5.6%

Source: tvirbickis / Getty Images

12. Denver County, Colorado
> Commuting zone: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.3% of population
> Median age: 34.6 years (3.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 45.7%
> Unemployment rate: 2.9%

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Source: Jud McCranie / Wikimedia Commons

11. Tattnall County, Georgia
> Commuting zone: N/A
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.3% of population
> Median age: 36.9 years (1.3 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 11.4%
> Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

10. Coryell County, Texas
> Commuting zone: Killeen-Temple, TX
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.3% of population
> Median age: 31.4 years (6.8 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 15.1%
> Unemployment rate: 4.5%

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Source: CZmarlin / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

9. Hoke County, North Carolina
> Commuting zone: Fayetteville, NC
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.5% of population
> Median age: 32.2 years (6.0 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.8%
> Unemployment rate: 5.3%

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

8. Liberty County, Georgia
> Commuting zone: Hinesville, GA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.6% of population
> Median age: 27.9 years (10.3 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.9%
> Unemployment rate: 4.5%

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

7. Broomfield County, Colorado
> Commuting zone: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Young adults who arrived last year: 4.9% of population
> Median age: 37.9 years (0.3 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 52.5%
> Unemployment rate: 2.7%

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Source: Joel Carillet / Getty Images

6. Charlottesville, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Charlottesville, VA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 5.4% of population
> Median age: 30.6 years (7.6 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 50.0%
> Unemployment rate: 3.0%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

5. Arlington County, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Young adults who arrived last year: 6.0% of population
> Median age: 34.4 years (3.8 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 73.7%
> Unemployment rate: 2.2%

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Source: Rex_Wholster / Getty Images

4. Lassen County, California
> Commuting zone: Susanville, CA
> Young adults who arrived last year: 6.2% of population
> Median age: 36.9 years (1.3 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.5%
> Unemployment rate: 4.8%

Source: fireboatks / Flickr

3. Geary County, Kansas
> Commuting zone: Junction City, KS
> Young adults who arrived last year: 6.3% of population
> Median age: 26.8 years (11.4 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.4%
> Unemployment rate: 5.9%

Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

2. Alexandria, Virginia
> Commuting zone: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Young adults who arrived last year: 6.4% of population
> Median age: 36.7 years (1.5 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 62.1%
> Unemployment rate: 2.4%

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Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

1. Pulaski County, Missouri
> Commuting zone: Fort Leonard Wood, MO
> Young adults who arrived last year: 7.8% of population
> Median age: 27.2 years (11.0 less than U.S.)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 23.9%
> Unemployment rate: 4.2%

One of the primary pull factors for Americans moving from one place to another is the presence of friends and family. Young people are more likely to move where there are other young people, which contributes to large disparities in age throughout the country. In 31 of the 40 counties where young people are moving the most, the typical resident is younger than the national median age of 38.2 years. In several cities, the median age is more than 10 years lower than the national median.

Americans with a college education also are more likely to move to a new county than individuals with less education. While 37.3% of adults 25 years and over who moved counties in 2016 had at least a bachelor’s degree, 11.5% had less than a high school diploma.

Education is also a major reason people move, and college towns tend to attract young residents for both school and other opportunities. In 20 of the 40 counties where young people are moving, the share of residents enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program is greater than the 7.4% national figure.

The primary reason people move is for work. Many young people move for jobs in service-providing industries, while cities with large manufacturing sectors tend to have declining employment and negative population growth. Many of the cities young people are moving to have major information, financial services, and professional and business services industries. Arlington County, Virginia, No. 5 on this list, has the sixth largest professional and business services sector by employment of any county. Broomfield County, Colorado, No. 7 on this list, has the fourth largest information sector.

Young people also tend to move to more urban areas. Of the 40 counties on this list, 36 are located in commuting zones classified as metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget — designations meant to approximate urban areas that attract economic activity.

Methodology:

To determine the 40 places where young people are moving, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all U.S. counties based on the number of 25 to 34 year-olds who moved to the area from a different county in 2016 as a share of the total county population using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Only counties with populations of at least 20,000 were considered. Data on age and educational attainment also came from the Census. Data on unemployment came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is seasonally adjusted for June 2018. Commuting zones are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

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