Aug 10, 2022 - News

More than 77% of Philly millennials stayed in the area as they grew up

Where young residents of Philadelphia moved
Note: 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

Philadelphia millennials were more likely to stay in the area as they aged into young adults than their counterparts in other cities, according to an Axios review of migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Why it matters: It highlights how our metro area's vibrancy and relative housing affordability likely tempted comparatively more folks who are now in their mid-to-late 30s to see it as a place to settle long-term.

  • The data examined where Americans who were born between 1984 and 1992 lived at age 16 and then again at age 26.

By the numbers: 77.4% of those raised in the Philadelphia area were still here at age 26.

  • Those who left didn't tend to go far. New York was unsurprisingly the top destination, but only 2.1% of young people headed there. Other cities across Pennsylvania like Reading (1.1%), Allentown (0.47%) and Pittsburgh (0.43%) as well as New Jersey (1.7%) and D.C. (1.4%) were also favored.
  • Warmer destinations were preferred for the small subset of those who traveled farther afield. 1.7% headed to California (mostly Los Angeles), while 2% headed south to Florida, mainly Orlando, Miami and Tampa.

The big picture: The vast majority of young people across the country tended to end up close to home — but Philly's share notably stands out among the 24 cities where Axios Local currently has a presence.

  • Phoenix (75.8%), Chicago (75.6%), Boston (75.3%) and Salt Lake City (75%) were the other metros that retained at least 75% of their young people.
  • Raleigh (66.1%), D.C. (68.1%) and Charlotte (68.3%) brought up the rear.
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