Okay, So Where Should We Move to Get What We Want?

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Tagging on to Ester’s post this morning about how young people in expensive urban areas will probably need to move to a different city if they want to buy a home, it’s time to play: where should we move?

The Atlantic recently released a series of charts showing the best places for Millennials to move if they want certain things, like a diverse community or a bunch of single people or, you know, a job.

So where should we go?

If we’re looking for the city with the highest population of young people, because olds are gross, it’s time to move to Provo-Orem, Utah. 32 percent of the population in Provo is aged 18-34.

Wait. 18-34? If you want to move to a city where young people are making things happen, the right age range seems closer to 23-40. When you dig into the Census charts where The Atlantic got its data, for example, you learn that that 21.7% of the people aged 18-34 in Provo are living with their parents, which makes sense for the demographic (especially when you take young people aged 18-21 into account) but doesn’t really tell me what living in Provo as a slightly-older-young person is like.

The saddest news in The Atlantic’s analysis is that the city with the most diverse group of young people is also the city with the highest poverty rate. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas. It is also the city with the lowest median income for young people—which they’re still counting as ages 18-34, which seems a little off—at $24,315 a year.

On the plus side, I guess, the median home price in the McAllen area is $114,500. Is that affordable? I have no concept of what “affordable” means, vis a vis homes, and I don’t know how much home you get for your $114K. I make twice the median income of the McAllen resident aged 18-34; would it be a smart choice for me to buy a $114K home?

What about single people? The Atlantic’s data differs from the Pew Research Center data I cited earlier today, because The Atlantic is just looking at single people as a demographic and Pew is listing the best cities for women who want to entrap “marriageable men” in their snares.

The Atlantic gives us Springfield, Massachusetts, which—is that The Simpsons’ Springfield or isn’t it? I can never remember—has a 78% single-never-married rate among residents aged 18-34.

18, though? Why are we counting 18-year-olds in this? I never thought I’d be the old person grumbling that 18-year-olds “aren’t really adults,” because y’all totally are, and I know that two or three generations ago you would have been married homeowners at 18, and now… okay, now I’m making myself all cranky on the inside.

Okay, here are a few uplifting stats:

If you want a job (of any kind), move to Des Moines, Iowa.

If you want a high-paying job, move to the Washington DC Metro Area. (Perhaps, shall we say, to Clarendon.)

If you want a job and a home, Des Moines is the better choice. Median home price is $115,175. The city has a 20% young minority population and a 55% young single-never-married population.

Shall we all move?

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