Are millennials moving to more urbanized and transit-oriented counties?

Devajyoti Deka


Recent studies show that two distinct narratives have emerged about the millennials’ behavior, attitudes, and preferences regarding their choice of residence and transportation. According to the optimistic narrative, by living and traveling sustainably, millennials are planting the seeds of an urban renaissance. According to the pessimistic narrative, the changes in their behavior are due to economic constraints. To examine whether the inter-county migration pattern of American millennials is consistent with the optimistic narrative, this study compares some spatial and travel characteristics of the origins and destinations of millennials (age 25-34) and older adults (age 35-64) by using data from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey and the 2010 Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics. Basic comparisons show that the destinations chosen by millennials are likely to have the characteristics that are consistent with the optimistic narrative. The push-pull regression models show that the effects of the county characteristics on migration are often significant but modest. The effects are not remarkably different for the two age groups.


Millennial; Migration; Push-Pull model; Spatial characteristics; Travel modes

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