Why Are Millennials and Baby Boomers Moving Southwest?

A growing number of Americans, particularly millennials and baby boomers, are moving to the Southwest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more people relocated to counties in the West and South of the U.S. between July 2017 and July 2018 than moved out. And suburbs in the Southwest welcomed more people than counties in the Midwest and Northeast.

Movers particularly favor Texas, with four counties in the state being in the top 10 of those chosen by new residents. There are a number of reasons why millennials and baby boomers alike favor the Southwest. Below, we’re looking into why this particular region is being favored among all others, on a number of different levels.

Affordable Housing

With high student loan debt and rising housing costs, millennials often find it difficult for them to secure loans for mortgages. In fact, although there are approximately 44,230 weddings each weekend in the U.S., many millennial couples are holding off on getting married in order to afford a down payment on a house.

Baby boomers, who often must downsize post-retirement, are also struggling to find affordable housing and rental rates. By 2050, the number of Americans over the age of 60 is expected to grow by 22%. For this reason, many are moving away from big cities in the Northeast to the suburbs of the South and Southwest where rents and housing costs are still relatively low and seniors can age in place.

Environmental Concerns

With the climate crisis on the horizon, both millennials and baby boomers are looking for homes in cities that are more environmentally conscious. Many cities in the South, including Houston and Dallas, are home to surprisingly walkable neighborhoods. In small towns and suburban areas, many stores and shops are easily accessible on foot or by bike.

Walkable neighborhoods allow residents to rely less on their cars, which use up to 40 billion gallons in fuel every year. Fewer cars also mean fewer carbon emissions, which is important considering commercial trucks alone move around 71.5% of the nation’s freight every day.

Cost of Living

Not only is there a lower cost of living in the Southwest in general, but there are a lot of job opportunities as well thanks to enrichment programs that have been put in place. Small businesses are encouraged to move to the Southwest through incentive programs, which can make a difference in the longterm. Therefore, millennials and baby boomers are often attracted to the Southwest by the lower cost of living, and millennials, in particular, can find better jobs there.

The job opportunities, affordable housing, and low cost of living in these areas make the Southwest attractive to both residents and property investors alike.


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