According to a study by Smart Asset, young Americans are gravitating towards U.S. cities that offer a college-friendly environment, job opportunities, and a lower cost of living. The research, conducted using data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey in 2022, analyzed the migration patterns of Gen Z individuals (aged 18 to 24) across 268 cities in the U.S.
The top 10 states where Gen Z is moving include:
These cities are characterized by their college-friendly environments, job opportunities, and affordability, attracting Gen Z individuals seeking big-city life without the high costs. The appeal of smaller cities with a high college population allows for forming a community while benefiting from advantages like affordable housing and lower living costs.
The study highlights that Texas and Florida ranked high on the list due to their lower cost of living and lower tax rates than the national average. Texas, in particular, offers significant savings for residents. At the same time, Florida’s favourable weather, beaches, absence of state income tax, and robust job market contribute to its population surge, especially among the younger generation.
These trends indicate a preference among Gen Z individuals for cities that balance education, job opportunities, and a cost-effective lifestyle. The study suggests that college towns with high rates of graduates are beautiful to this demographic, providing a chance for them to stay close to friends and leverage the benefits of these locations.