Millennials: They Came, They Saw... They Stayed?

According to Haya El Nasser, cities across America have succeeded in attracting young professionals for over a decade. “They came, they played, they stayed,” she writes. But, she asks, will these Millennials stick around as they age and have kids?

2 minute read

December 5, 2012, 7:00 AM PST

By Erica Gutiérrez


Richard Florida and Bill Fulton agree, Millennials not only move often, but they are also “the generation that decides where it's going to live before it decides what it's going to do.” This means that cities need to not only attract Millennials early on in adulthood, but also provide the amenities to keep them there in the long-term. Fulton asserts "capturing people early on in their lives in a metro really matters. It's important to compete with suburbs for people once they get a little older and have children." As Millennials age, cities will need to provide more than “hip entertainment venues and small flats," but also, “soccer fields, good schools and roomy homes,” Fulton says. "The question isn't so much getting families out of the suburbs into cities but getting them to stay in the cities."

According to Nasser, “The growing urban constituency of hipster parents is not timid about making itself heard," pointing out that "[e]ducated and in professional jobs, they are equipped to organize and galvanize.” Among other things, they demand safe neighborhoods, high quality schools, and larger 3-4 bedroom homes within cities, rather than in the suburbs. They also want access to other urban amenities near transit, which they are more likely to use, including grocery stores and childcare. Mayors, councilman and developers alike are responding to these demands in different ways: by endorsing school choice and charter schools, by investing in “quality of life” infrastructure and urban parks, and by building suburban housing environments in cities.

"We have professionals come and go, singles come and go," says downtown Los Angeles Councilman, Jose Huizar, "But you build for families, and they're here to stay." By building for families first with those amenities that also attract young adults, cities have much to gain. In doing so, they are fostering a stable tax base and continued economic activity as Millennials moves into family-hood.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in USA Today

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Walkways and escalator at crowded transit station, with one person walking a bike in foreground.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Transit Operations

Contracting with private sector vendors can help transit agencies improve efficiency and provide better service.

April 14 - Smart Cities Dive

White sign with No Camping - Violators Subject to Arrest and municipal code in red text with snowy trees in background.

Opinion: Unhoused People Need Housing, Not Law Enforcement

The sharp increase in the unhoused population calls for urgent action, not criminalization.

April 14 - The Hill

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

April 12 - Houston Chronicle

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.