Aug 22, 2022 - News

Local millennials stayed put and fueled Denver area's growth

Where young residents of Denver moved
Note: The analysis includes U.S. Social Security Number holders born 1984–1992, tracking their locations at age 16 and 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

Denver is known for its Gen Z energy.

What they found: 71% of the millennials who lived in Denver at age 16 decided to stay or return by age 26, according to research from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Why it matters: Denver is a magnet for young people, but the latest data adds a twist and shows how natives help drive the local economy.

Zoom in: The other 30% that left the Denver area scattered, but some didn't go far. The largest concentrations (though small) included two other Colorado cities: Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.

  • The top out-of-state cities for Denver-area kids to move include Los Angeles, followed by New York and Seattle.
  • By state, California and Texas topped the list.

What they did: Researchers looked at Social Security numbers issued between 1984 and 1992, and where their holders moved.

The big picture: The broader study looked at labor market influence and wages, finding that 80% of young adults migrated less than 100 miles from where they grew up, and 90% less than 500 miles.


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