Charlotte Ranks #1 in U.S. As Destination For Moves By Millennials


Charlotte ranks No. 1 in the U.S. as a destination for moving by millennials, according to a recent study by mortgage lender SmartAsset.

Young adults today are less likely to move than they were in previous generations. Data from the Census Bureau shows that the mobility rate for young adults is at the lowest rate it has been at in 50 years. But what about the millennials who do move? They offer an economic boon to the cities and states who receive them. 

In order to find the places where millennials are moving, SmartAsset analyzed immigration and emigration data from the Census Bureau for 2015. They compared the number of persons between ages 20 and 34 moving into a city to the number moving out of a city. Check out the data and methodology section below to see where they got their data and how they put it together.


The Cities Where Millennials Are Moving 

1. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, saw a larger influx of millennials than any other city in the study. Overall the data shows that about 71,240 millennials moved to Charlotte while 60,533 moved out. That’s a net gain of 10,707.

The largest net gain on millennials coming to Charlotte came from interstate movers. Around 18,000 millennials came into Charlotte from outside the state of North Carolina, while only about 10,000 left Charlotte for another state.

2. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is a popular destination for millennials. Overall the data shows that 86,641 millennials immigrated to the city, while 76,755 emigrated from the city. This left Seattle with a net gain of 9,886 millennials, the second-most in the country.

3. Oakland, California

Oakland is another popular landing spot for millennials on the move. Unlike some cities, the largest net increase in millennials coming to Oakland came from residents moving from another county in California.

In total 8,771 millennials came to Oakland from another county in California, while only 5,052 left Oakland for another county in California.

4. Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia is the fourth-most popular spot for mobile millennials. This city has a strong economy, bolstered by the large presence of the U.S. Department of Defense, which may be one reason millennials are flocking here.

Overall around 7,000 more millennials came to Norfolk than left, a figure which represents almost 3% of Norfolk’s total population.

5. Fargo, North Dakota

If we were measuring the number of millennials coming to a city as a percent of the overall population, Fargo would be even higher up the rankings. According to the data, Fargo gained just under 6,000 millennials from 2014-2015, just over 5% of the total population. One thing which may be attracting millennials to Fargo is the area’s low unemployment rate.

6. Spring Valley, Nevada

Spring Valley saw a net increase of 5,300 millennials. A large chunk of these millennials –  2,985 – came from out of state. At the same time only 785 millennials left Spring Valley and headed out of Nevada.

In terms of raw numbers, this city saw less movement when compared to others in the top 10 due to its smaller population. About 13,546 millennials immigrated to Spring Valley while 5,347 emigrated. Both those figures are the lowest in our top 10. One plus for millennials coming to Spring Valley is that Nevada has relatively low taxes.

7. San Francisco, California

San Francisco was one of the busiest cities analyzed. Overall about 120,000 millennials moved in or out of San Francisco, with about 4,800 more coming in than leaving.

Unlike Oakland, where the majority of incoming millennials were coming from other counties in California, the vast majority of the net increase in millennials in San Francisco came from out of state.

8. Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is the first of two Colorado cities to crack the top 10. This city has a booming economy with an unemployment rate around 2.9%, which has led to a large influx of residents. In fact, the housing supply grew 8.9% from 2014 to 2015 just to keep up with the demand for housing.

Overall more than 4,300 more millennials moved to Fort Collins than left.

9. Denver, Colorado

Denver is a very popular spot for millennials. The data shows about 4,200 more millennials immigrated to Denver than emigrated. That is the equivalent of about 0.63% of the total population.

Most of the net gain in millennials came from the steady stream of out-of-state millennials pouring into the city. According to our data, about 6,500 more millennials came to Denver from out of state than left Denver for another state.

10. St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul takes the final spot in the top 10. The smaller of the Twin Cities saw a net increase of about 4,100 millennials which just beat out Broomfield, Colorado for 10th place.

Most of the net gain in millennials came from the difference between the number of millennials coming to St. Paul from out of state compared to the number leaving St. Paul for another state.

Data and Methodology

In order to calculate which cities and states millennials are moving to, SmartAsset analyzed 2015 U.S. Census Bureau migration data on 218 cities and all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.

They compared the number of persons between the age of 20 and 34 who left each city and state to the number who moved in. They ranked the cities and states by highest net gain in persons ages 20 to 34. Data on migration patterns comes from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s 1-Year American Community Survey.

See the full report here:



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