Aug 10, 2022 - News

Millennial “Charlotte unicorns” aren’t so rare

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

There might be more millennial “Charlotte unicorns” than you think.

  • This is, of course, the old reference to people who grew up in Charlotte and still live here.
  • You might bump into a “Charlotte unicorn” in ‘the wild” at places like Smelly Cat in NoDa and Common Market in Plaza Midwood.

Driving the news: A recent migration patterns report using U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 68% of people born in the Charlotte region from 1984-1992 — the core group of millennials — were here at age 16 and still here at 26.

  • Those who did move didn’t go far. The top metro area relocation was Raleigh, and the top state was South Carolina.
millennial migration patterns 2022
The analysis includes U.S. Social Security Number holders born 1984–1992 measuring their childhood locations at age 16 and young adult locations at age 26; Data: Center for Economic Studies, et al., 2022, “The Radius of Opportunity: Evidence from Migration and Local Labor Markets“; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

Between the lines: Wealth remains an indicator of mobility.

  • 43% of young Charlotteans who grew up with parents in the highest income bracket moved away, compared to just 26% of those in the lowest income bracket, the report found.

The bottom line: The whole “nobody who lives in Charlotte is actually from Charlotte” is becoming less and less true.


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