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Kansas City: A Millennial Magnet?

November 14, 2013

by Jeff Pinkerton

A new Wall Street Journal post highlights the growth in millennials (those aged 25-34) in Washington, D.C. In total, our capitol city added more than 12,000 millennials between 2010 and 2012. The article also lists changes in this population segment in other metros. Here in Kansas City, we’re well behind D.C. in population growth among millennials, but we rank favorably among all metros. The Kansas City metro added 2,188 millennials between 2010 and 2012. Even though this was good enough for 14th on the list, it was still down from the 2007-2009 period when we added nearly 3,000.


MIllennial Growth

This is more than just an interesting tidbit of data. Migration patterns give us some insight into our overall regional economic health. The highest-ranking cities shown on the chart above are a virtual “who’s who” of high-growth, high-tech metro economies (Washington, Denver, Austin, Portland, Seattle, etc.). Millennials are more likely to move where there is economic opportunity — many in this age group are not yet tied to a particular location by a mortgage or family. So if a city attracts this demographic, it must be providing good opportunities for our most opportunistic generation.

Many cities would like to emulate the successes of places like Austin or Seattle by attracting young talent to grow their economies. Judging by the company we are keeping in this one particular measure, our efforts are showing results. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. raavek permalink
    November 16, 2013 3:04 am

    I hate to be that guy, but overlay cities who have legalized weed or are very lax about weed over your chart and you will notice some stark similarities. Millennials don’t like old, antiquated laws that are based on absurdities interfering with their life which also creating an aire of contempt for authority.

    Kansas City has such a freaking strong pull for techies, and if we viewed pot laws like they do in colorado, here, our chart position would be higher. Much higher. Maybe you scoff at the notion, but I hear daily from my millennial techie friends how much they want to move to colorado to get away from the pot laws bs here. These are smart, college educated people holding down nice solid stable jobs, not random thugs.

    We got google fiber which a lot of techies are salivating at. We should legalise something that should have been legalised during the cutural revolution of the 60s, before most of the rest of the cities, states and country, and you will see an upswing in this generationn coming to this city.

    You might dismiss this post as some random pothead blabbing about the wonders of this fairy tale magic plant, and that’s fine if you do, but your post is about 2 things, the economics of kansas city AND luring Millennials here. I think this post very aptly fits.

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