While you can still hear headlines referring to millennials as teenagers and college kids, the average member of what is now the largest generation is actually in their thirties. Even if the youngest have just graduated from college, most millennials are career-oriented professionals, many with young families in tow.
So when looking for a new city to call home, millennials are more concerned about school districts than nightclubs – although a hip food scene is still high on the list as eating out is among a popular activity Millennials is old age.
With that in mind, our list includes cities near metropolitan areas with strong economies, plenty of activities, and plenty to do for young families. In no particular order, here are four cities with a lot of millennial appeal.
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1. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city, is a medium-sized city with a big city feel. Of the almost 200,000 people, more than two thirds are under 45 years old, the average age is just over 31 years.
Mortgage Rates in Michigan reasonable, and with average house prices in Grand Rapids around $ 143,000, more than half of its residents own a home. Unemployment is also below the national average at just 4.4%. Grand Rapids is a rare bastion for the manufacturing industry, but healthcare, retail, and education are also major sources of employment.
There is plenty to do in Grand Rapids while you enjoy the culture and cuisine. You’ll find a number of interesting museums, several live event locations, and a lively brewery scene here. You are also just a short drive from Lake Michigan, where water sports abound.
2. Boulder, Colorado
Less than 45 minutes from Denver, Boulder is a medium-sized city close enough to the capital to enjoy its amenities. The city is young and lively; the median age is under 30 and almost three quarters of the population are under 45, which makes it ideal for young families.
Property prices in Boulder are pretty high – the median price is around $ 700,000 – so buying a home will likely mean taking on a major mortgage. However, the rent can be reasonable depending on where you live, and household incomes are also above average, with a median of around $ 70,000. Education and technical jobs are abundant.
Don’t run out of activities in Boulder. You will enjoy all of the advantages of nearby Denver, including its sports teams and venues. In addition, the mountains all around offer numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures.
3. Durham, North Carolina
Durham is just outside Raleigh and is a medium-sized town with plenty of southern charm. Durham has a slightly older population than other places on this list, with a median age of 34.5, but it still feels young as more than half of the population is under 45.
The average home value of around $ 250,000 is hit with a decent mortgage, but the average household income of over $ 65,000 can make it easier. Also, as part of the Research Triangle – the tri-cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill have several major research universities – high-paying jobs in education and technology are relatively easy to find.
Durham itself is busy and has plenty of entertainment, museums and other cultural activities. You can also head to nearby Raleigh for even more options. If you’re more into the outdoors, head a little out of town to enjoy a weekend in the Appalachian Mountains.
4. Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, offers all the advantages of the big city – with a little less traffic and crowding. Bellevue is a good place for older millennials, as the median age is 37.7 and just over a third of its 144,000 residents are under 45.
Mortgage rates in Washington are low, but since Bellevue is so close to Seattle, house prices are about the same as in the city. That means you should be prepared for a great mortgage loan. But career-conscious professionals should stand a fair chance, as the average household income is a whopping $ 120,000. Science and technology are the main industries in the region, providing more than a quarter of jobs, with education and health also making a major contribution to the local economy.
It’s hard to beat the location to do all that Seattle has to offer practically on your doorstep. This offers you sporting events, big concerts and loads of culture. Travel a little east to enjoy what the Rocky Mountains have to offer or head a little west for a marine adventure in the Pacific.
Build your career and your family
Modern millennials aren’t the college-age troublemakers of the headlines of the past. These days, they are working professionals with families-to-be looking for vibrant cities to call home. The options on our list combine both professional and personal needs while delivering a small town feel with metropolitan neighbors for the best of both worlds.