Austin is no longer the No. 1 magnet for millennials on the move, report says
For the past two years, Austin has been the No. 1 destination for millennials making the move to a new city. But that's no longer the case, according to a new report that drops Austin to the No. 9 hot spot for young professionals aged 25 to 44.
SmartAsset's 2023 study "Where Millennials Are Moving" dug into data from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey to determine the number of millennials who moved to 268 U.S. cities in 2022. Rankings were determined by the percentage of the total population represented by millennials who moved into the city in 2022.
According to the findings, Austin attracted 103,461 new millennials in 2022, constituting 10.7 percent of its population.
Millennials make up 40.42 percent of the population in Austin, the study says; the median age of people living in the city is 34.7.
The study found that there's one Central Texas city that experienced a more dramatic population shift thanks to new millennials: Killeen, located about 70 miles north of the Texas capital, ranked No. 8.
Killeen drew in 16,853 millennials, making up 10.8 percent of its population (a slightly larger share than Austin's). The median age in Killeen is 30.4 — the second-lowest in the top 10, the report says.
So, how did Killeen manage to attract so many millennials? According to a separate SmartAsset study, the answer lies in the obvious: cheaper housing with low competition. Killeen is the best housing market in the nation for first-time homebuyers.
According to SmartAsset, one in four millennials moved to a different city last year. Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the No. 1 U.S. city with the highest proportional influx of millennial newcomers in 2022, at 14.74 percent.
The report also noted the different ways a generation's migration can impact a city.
"Whether they come from within the same county, state, out-of-state or abroad, these migrations can impact local small businesses, housing markets and social dynamics," the report's author wrote.
The top 10 cities where millennials are moving are:
- No. 1 – Cambridge, Massachusetts
- No. 2 – Santa Clara, California
- No. 3 – Seattle, Washington
- No. 4 – Sunnyvale, California
- No. 5 – Denver, Colorado
- No. 6 – Arlington, Virginia
- No. 7 – Bellevue, Washington
- No. 8 – Killeen, Texas
- No. 9 – Austin, Texas
- No. 10 – Sandy Springs, Georgia
Elsewhere in Texas, San Antonio attracted 102,848 millennials in 2022. More than 10,000 millennials moved to Waco last year, and Round Rock saw 7,972 new millennials move in.