Study Shows Experiences - Not Family - Leading Millennials to New Cities

Nearly Half Indicate ‘Love’ as a Reason for Moving

Apr 5, 2016 -

It seems distance does not make the heart grow fonder – especially if you’re between the ages of 18 and 35. A new survey shows nearly half of millennials have relocated as adults to a new city or state due to matters of the heart.

While millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and 51 percent of millennials surveyed have moved for employment, jobs are far from the only reason this cohort is searching for new cities to call home. According to the 2016 Mayflower Mover Insights study, which focused on millennial moving trends, nearly half (46 percent) of 18 to 35-year-olds have moved to a new city, state or country to be with or find a romantic partner. This exceeds the number of millennials who have moved to be closer to family (44 percent) or friends (24 percent). Millennials 29 or younger are more likely to move for a partner than millennials over the age of 30. According to the study, millennial men identified as being more “confident” (45 percent) and “happy” (64 percent) about moving cities to find love than millennial women, who were less likely to report they were “confident” (25 percent) and “happy” (50 percent).

“Our Mayflower agents across the country are moving millennials as they begin new chapters in their lives. They tell us that in addition to new careers, relationships and experiences are the driving forces causing this generation to pick up and move,” said Melissa Sullivan, director, marketing communications, Mayflower. “The findings of this year’s Mayflower Mover Insights study reinforce what our agents are seeing every day. This data helps us analyze not only where our customers move, but also why they are moving.”

In addition to moving for relationships, the study found that nearly half (48 percent) of millennials have moved for a new lifestyle or experience, but the experiences they value are varied. Overall, the study showed Instagram-worthy food is a top priority for millennials choosing a new city, with more than half of respondents (56 percent) stating good restaurants are a must have. Second and third, respectively, were child-friendly activities (23 percent) and church/religion (22 percent).  

“I find something fun about trying new places and seeing new things,” said Ambur Fusilier, a Mayflower customer who recently moved to New Orleans to be with her husband. “When we decided to move to New Orleans, we wanted to be able to enjoy everything the city has to offer – coffee shops, street festivals, daiquiris and all. We live in the city center because we didn’t want to dilute our experience by living outside of the city limits.”

The study does show this generation continues to be enamored by urban centers, with more than half (55 percent) currently residing in a big city or an inner suburb near the city and nearly three in five (57 percent) responding their continued desire to live in a big city or an inner suburb near the city. The age group with the highest percentage of respondents living in an urban environment is 24 to 29-year-olds, with three in five currently living in a big city or an inner suburb near the city. Of those between the ages of 30 and35, less than 20 percent said they currently live in a medium sized town and even less in a distant suburb (14 percent).

While the oldest millennials may not be as likely to live in a downtown area, they still prefer attributes often associated with more urban settings, with this age group expressing more than any other the “want” to live in a city with close proximity to microbreweries and wineries. The youngest millennials (18-23) were significantly more likely than the oldest millennials (30-35) to identify live music and an active single scene as a priority for where they live.

“More than any generation before them, millennials have the freedom and flexibility to make moves in search of new experiences and opportunities,” said Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University. “Baby Boomers were the pioneers for postponing adulthood in order to extend the period of lifestyle explorations, but their children have taken it much further. On average, millennials are waiting nearly a decade longer to find long-term jobs, get married and have children. This extended flexibility provides them the freedom to move somewhere in their mid-twenties, in search of job opportunities, or to find love, or just because it’s a fun place to live – even if they don’t think they’ll stay in the long run.”

So what cities are attracting millennials more than others? According to moves completed by Mayflower between January and December 2015, Dallas, Texas is the hot spot for millennials, followed closely by Chicago, Ill. and Denver, Colo.

  1. Dallas, Texas
  2. Chicago, Ill.
  3. Denver, Colo.
  4. Seattle, Wash.
  5. Atlanta, Ga.
  6. Los Angeles, Cali.
  7. Portland, Ore.
  8. Charlotte, N.C.
  9. Washington D.C.
  10. Phoenix, Ariz.

“This list of cities is consistent with the long-standing patterns of the U.S. population shift from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and the West,” Dr. Arnett said. “Emerging adults are leading the way because they are, overall, the most likely to be moving.” 

Mayflower, America’s most recognized and trusted moving company, moves an average of 60,000 families each year and has 300 agents across the country.

 

Survey Background and Methodology

Respondents to the survey were selected from Research Now’s consumer panel to reflect a distribution of the millennial population, ages 18-M35 years old. Respondents were also selected by regional geographic distribution (South, West, Northeast, Midwest) to reflect U.S. demographics. Without knowledge of Mayflower’s sponsorship, 1,000 respondents completed the survey. 

About Mayflower

Mayflower is America’s most recognized and trusted moving company. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Mayflower maintains a network of 300 affiliated agencies. For more information about Mayflower Transit and its services, visit Mayflower.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MayflowerMoving.

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Melissa Sullivan
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