Aug 10, 2022 - News

Here's where Salt Lake City millennials go when they leave

Where young residents of Salt Lake City 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

About a quarter of young adults who grew up in Salt Lake City packed their bags and moved to other parts of the state or the West Coast by the age of 26, according to census data.

Details: Axios looked at a Center of Economic Studies analysis of census migration data comparing where Salt Lake City residents lived at the age of 16 to where they moved by 26.

Yes, but: The data only measures where millennials born between 1984 and 1992 moved up until 2018, which is not reflective of moving trends that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State of play: Whether it's due to seeking educational opportunities or wanting to move to cities where the cost of living is lower, the data show a glimpse as to why millennials are leaving town.

The big picture: On average, young adults who grew up in Salt Lake City moved 165 miles away for a job — 17 miles below the national average.

By the numbers: Overall, about 8% of millennials who moved out of Salt Lake City remained in Utah, with 4.6% moving to Provo, followed by Logan (1.7%) and St. George (.9%)

  • Some of the largest higher education institutions in the state are located in or near Provo, Logan and St. George, like BYU, USU and Southern Utah University.
  • Aside from Los Angeles, the cost of living in top cities millennials moved to were 2% to 6% lower than Salt Lake City, according to NerdWallet's cost of living calculator.
  • Of those who left Salt Lake City, 17% moved to a different state. The top states among them include Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington.
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