According to a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, Boulder boasts the second-highest rate of newly arrived millennials and Denver is the fifth-ranked city nationwide for move-ins of these young adults.

According to a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, Boulder boasts the second-highest rate of newly arrived millennials and Denver is the fifth-ranked city nationwide for move-ins of these young adults.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Millennials seem to be bucking a stay-put trend, with the Denver and Boulder areas emerging as particularly attractive destinations for this demographic. According to a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, Boulder boasts the second-highest rate of newly arrived millennials and Denver is the fifth-ranked city nationwide for move-ins of these young adults. 

In the past year alone, a staggering one-third of millennials in Boulder arrived, with 10,544 of the city’s nearly 29,000 millennials moving into the city limits in 2022, reported the SmartAsset study. Millennials now make up more than 27% of Boulder’s population. After Cambridge, Boulder had the highest rate of millennial in-migration, and the city placed 12th overall for the highest percentage of the population made up of newly moved-in millennials.

Denver stands out as the fifth-ranked city nationwide for the highest rate of millennials incoming in 2022. In fact, 41% of the population in Denver, Seattle and Jersey City are millennials, achieving the highest concentrations of millennials in the SmartAsset study — ranking 5th, 3rd and 32nd respectively. 

This is despite that moving rates are trending downward, according to a separate study by the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University. Study results show that by age 26, more than two-thirds of young adults in the U.S. lived in the same area where they grew up, 80% had moved less than 100 miles away and 90% resided less than 500 miles away. Commuting zones — one or more counties that reflect a local labor market — factor high in determining where millennials would relocate, with young adults most commonly choosing to live near where they grew up, said the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University study.

Contrary to a general decline in those who move to another city, one in four millennials relocated to a different city in 2022, reports SmartAsset, which defined millennials as people aged 25 to 44 and ranked cities by the highest population percentage of newly arrived millennials.

Here are the top ten cities that millennials moved to in 2022, according to SmartAsset.

1. Cambridge, Mass.
With a millennial influx of 17,275 in 2022, nearly 14.7% of Cambridge is now made up of millennial newcomers, bringing the median age of Cambridge to just under 30. 

2. Santa Clara, Calif.
Santa Clara brought in 16,661 millennials or about 13.3% of its population. The city’s median age is 35 years old. 

3. Seattle, Wash.
Seattle welcomed 93,302 new millennials, making up 12.5% of the population and bringing the city’s median age to 36 years.

4. Sunnyvale, Calif.
This Silicon Valley city drew 18,862 new young adults – or 12.5% of its population. Sunnyvale’s median age is just under 36 years old. 

5. Denver, Colo.
Denver attracted 85,390 millennials or 12.1% of its overall population. The millennial age group now makes up 41% of the city’s total population and the city’s median age is 35.4 years.

The following cities round out the top ten in the SmartAsset study:

  • Arlington, Va. with newly arrived millennials making up 11.5% of the population
  • Bellevue, Wash. with a population of 11.3% in-coming millennials
  • Killeen, Texas with a 10.8% newly arrived millennial population
  • Austin, Texas with 10.7% of the population in the newly arrived millennial age group
  • Sandy Springs, Ga. with 10.5% of its population made up of newly arrived millennials.

Of the bottom five, Austin has the youngest median age at 34.7 years.

Utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey for 2022, the SmartAsset study encompassed 268 cities with available data and populations of 100,000 or more people aged 1 or over. The rankings were determined by the percentage of the total population represented by millennials who moved to the city in 2022. Millennials were defined as those aged 25 to 44. 

To read more, visit: smartasset.com/data-studies/where-millennials-moved-2023

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected],
call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.