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Millennials Are Leaving Expensive L.A. For Smaller Cities, Report Says

(Photo by Shabdro Photo via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Los Angeles is often presented as a city where a young person can score a creative career, or a robust freelancing life with plenty of afternoon beach breaks. Coffee shops are full of millennials tapping away on their laptops. Yet a report from Apartment List, a rental site, used data from the U.S. Census to figure out where millennials were settling, and it wasn't the sunny Southland. They found that L.A. experienced a decrease in residents ages 18 to 35 by 7.4 percent from 2005 to 2015. This placed L.A. at third in the nation for millennial exits, and only 48th for millennial population growth.


(Photo via Apartment List)
Apartment List Data Scientist Andrew Woo provides the obvious reason for the data, telling LA Weekly: “The high cost of living combined with stagnant incomes make L.A. a relatively unaffordable place for renters.”

The study found that the median income in L.A. fell by 0.6 percent, while the rent has been increasing.

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Not every city experiencing millennial drain has high rent to blame, however. Detroit also saw a huge decline, and while the rent in Detroit is quite cheap compared to Los Angeles and homeownership is much more achievable, wage growth in the Motor City isn't so great. The study found the same to be true for Las Vegas and Atlanta.

So where did these millennials go? They departed for smaller cities, such as Charlotte, N.C., Houston, Austin, Seattle and Omaha. Charlotte had an increase in millennial population by 30 percent, while the two Texas cities saw an increase of 15 percent.