Americans are far less likely to pick up and move now than they have been in decades. Just 32.4 million Americans moved to a new home in 2018, the fewest since at least 1999, when over 42 million Americans moved.
Young people, who are less likely to be tethered by a family or mortgage, are not an exception to this trend. Mobility among young adults between the ages of 25 and 35 recently hit its lowest level in 50 years. Still, the majority of Americans who have moved in 2017 are under the age of 30. And among this relatively mobile age demographic, some areas are far more popular than others.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed county level migration of young adults to identify the 40 places where young people are moving. We ranked the counties and county equivalents based on the number of 18 to 34 year-olds who moved there in 2017 as a share of the total county population. Independent cities that do not fall under the jurisdiction of a county were included in our analysis.
One of the most common reasons Americans move is for their career or a new job — and many counties on this list offer access to stable employment opportunities. These include Pulaski County, Missouri, which is home to a U.S. Army base; Arlington County, Virginia, which is located just outside the nation’s capital; and several others, like Benton County, Oregon, that are home to major universities and research institutions
Two other common reasons Americans cite for moving are a desire for cheaper housing and a desire to own a home rather than rent. And low housing costs may partially explain why many of the counties on this list are drawing in so many new, young residents. In well over half of the 40 counties where young people are moving, the typical home costs less than $193,500, the median home value nationwide. Of course, housing affordability is a consideration Americans of any age should take into account when moving to a new area. These are America’s 25 most affordable housing markets.
The influx of young people has a substantial impact on the overall demographic makeup of the counties on this list. Based on median age, each of the 40 counties young people are moving to is younger than the nation as a whole. In fact, several counties on this list also rank as the youngest county in their respective state. Here is a full list of the youngest county in each state.