Millennials are flocking to three Virginia cities and western states like Washington — but leaving New York City.
Virginia is for millennials.
Three cities in the Old Dominion state cracked the top 10 cities in SmartAsset’s 2018 “Where Are Millennials Moving” report released on Wednesday. The personal finance site used Census Bureau data to track millennial immigration and emigration data (thosefor people between the ages of 20 and 34), and ranked cities and states by the highest difference between the number who moved in, and the number who moved out, between 2016 and 2017. And Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va. took spots No. 6, 9 and 10, respectively, as Virginia overall gained 18,300 more millennials than it lost.
This backs a Time report that ranked Virginia Beach as the city with the highest rate of millennial growth between 2010 and 2015, followed by Richmond, Va. in second place. The president of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, which includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Newport News, told the magazine that the department surveyed local millennials for tips on ways to bring in more young adults, and has extended the Norfolk light rail to improve public transportation access, developed new restaurants and spruced up city centers. It’s also more affordable than Washington, D.C., which WalletHub recently ranked as the best place for young 20-somethings and young 30-somethings to live.
The top city that millennials are moving to in SmartAsset’s report is Seattle, however, which drew nearly 30,000 millennials while just over 22,000 moved out, leaving the city with a net influx of 7,300 millennials. While the median rent gets pricey (more than $1,350 per month on average) the state has no personal income tax, so workers can keep more of their paychecks. And SmartAsset notes that salaries are high, and workers are more likely to get raises here. (The average full-time worker in the area earned 14% more in 2015 than they did in 2011.)
Other cities rounding out the top five places millennials are flocking to include Columbia, S.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Jacksonville, Fla.
But the Big Apple has gone rotten for young professionals. New York City took the bottom spot on SmartAsset’s list for the second year in a row as residents leave the expensive metropolis to make it in more affordable states. NYCew York lost almost 95,000 millennials during the survey period.
When it comes to overall states gaining and losing the most millennials, New York was last place here, as well, followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey in shedding the most young adults.
Turns out, the west is best. Washington (n, home of Seattle), received almost 40,000 more millennials than it lost, while Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona also made the top 10. Colorado ( — where recreational marijuana use is legal, and the home to Denver, which is enjoying a robust startup culture) — received over 26,500 more millennials than it lost.
The south is also appealing to young 20-somethings and 30-somethings, as Texas took second place with a net influx of nearly 34,000 millennials, followed by Virginia as discussed, and followed by Georgia, North Carolina and Florida rounding out the top 10.
WalletHub recently ranked its own Best & Worst States for Millennials report by rating each state and D.C. using categories including Affordability, Education & Health, Quality of Life, Economic Health and Civic Engagement, which factored in metrics such as the share of millennials in each state, the millennial unemployment rate and the millennial voter-turnout rate.
These metrics were more favorable to the midwest and the east coast, naming Washington, D.C. as the millennial capital due to the high cost of living being balanced out by its top ranking for Education & Health, Quality of Life and Civic Engagement. It’s also the best city for women in tech, according to a recent report from personal finance site SmartAsset, which noted that women make up 38.5% of the tech workforce in D.C., and take home just over $56,000 on average after housing costs.
North Dakota came in second place in WalletHub’s report thanks to being the most affordable state to live in, as well as scoring the top spot for Economic Health. It’s also the state with the highest percentage of millennials in the country, as the young professionals flock to the Midwestern state’s low unemployment rate (2.7%) and booming industry around oil exploration, according to state’s census office. Minnesota, Massachusetts and Iowa rounded out Wallet Hub’s top five best places for millennials. WalletHub also recently named Massachusetts the best state to raise a family thanks to affordable housing and good schools, wellwith fellow best millennial states Minnesota and North Dakota close behind.
On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico is the worst place for millennials, according to the report, due to low marks in Economic Health (49th place), Quality of Life (48th place) and Education & Health (43rd place) in particular. It suffers from having the second highest unemployment rate after Alaska.
West Virginia was the next least attractive place for young adults, coming in dead last for Quality of Life and Economic Health (both 51st place). Mississippi also made the five worst, even though it’s the fourth most affordable place to live, because it also scored extremely low Quality of Life (49) and Economic Health (50) rankings. Nevada and Alabama rounded out the worst list.
This article was originally published on April 10, 2018 and has been updated with SmartAsset’s new data.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved