Aug 9, 2022 - News

Where Boston millennials end up moving

When young people leave Boston, where do they go? The answers range from cheaper, smaller cities like Springfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut, to the nation's major hubs, according to an Axios review of migration data.

What we did: We looked at a Center for Economic Studies analysis of census migration data for people born between 1984 and 1992, comparing where they lived at age 16 (in this case, Boston) to where they lived by age 26.

  • Yes, but: The most recent available data only gives us a snapshot through 2018, and we've seen some major changes in the past five years due to COVID-19, the housing market boom and the Dobbs ruling.

What happened: While most local millennials stayed here, nearly 25% (122K) left the area.

  • Nearly half of those who left stayed in the Northeast.
  • The most popular destinations were New York City (14K), Manchester, New Hampshire (12K), Providence, Rhode Island (12K), Los Angeles (5K) and Washington, D.C. (5K).

Why it matters: Whether Boston's cost of living, dysfunctional transit or job market is to blame, young adults were heading to greener pastures before the pandemic.

  • Boston lost some 122,500 people who could have filled open jobs, launched new businesses or made other contributions.

Zoom in: Of those who left in that timeframe, ​​3,558 moved across the state to Springfield.

  • Fewer than 1,000 others settled in Pittsfield, Oak Bluffs or Nantucket.

Steph's thought bubble: The data show that nearly 300 people went to Alaska. Was it worth the frostbite?


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