These 10 US cities attract the most Gen Z adults aged 18-24

Born between 1997 and 2012, many in Gen Z are still under the age of 18. But older Gen Zers are just starting to  movefor college, their career or to explore life in a new place. While this cohort may not have the disposable income of their older counterparts, their movement still plays an important role in local economies. An asymmetrical move can affect demand for goods, services and infrastructure, as well as local job and housing markets.

With this in mind, SmartAsset set out to determine which cities Gen Zers are moving to most often. Looking at 268 of the largest U.S. cities, the analysis ranks cities based on the number of people aged 18 to 24 who moved in in 2022, as a percentage of the total population.

Key findings

  • One in four people is a new Gen Z transplant in Ann Arbor, MI. Ann Arbor – a college town that also has the highest rate of people with graduate degrees – has the highest rate of Gen Zers moving in. Nearly 31,400 people aged 18-24 moved into this city in 2022. In total, Gen Z makes up just about 36% of the population here.
  • In Provo, UT, 42% of the population is aged 18-24. Ranking second for the rate at which Gen Zers are moving to Provo, the city attracts both people from within Utah and from out of state. Roughly 27,500 Gen Zers moved here in 2022.
  • Boulder, CO had the highest rate of Gen Zers moving from the suburbs to the city. Over 14,000 out of the roughly 25,000 new Gen Z residents moved to this city from within Boulder County. At 13.7%, that’s the highest rate of people aged 18-24 migrating to a city from the same county.
  • Gen Zers in Texas move in largest numbers to College Station. This city ranks fourth overall for the highest rate of Gen Zers moving in, and the majority of young newcomers come from within Texas specifically. Less than 2,000 of the new 27,000 Gen Z residents come from out of state.
  • Berkeley, CA received the highest rate of Gen Z movers from abroad. Just over 13% of the new Gen Zers came from abroad, or 2,466 people. In total, 18,699 people in this age group moved in in 2022, putting Berkeley in seventh place overall. 

Table showing top 15 cities where gen Z is moving.

Top cities where Gen Z Is moving

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Ann Arbor was the top destination for Gen Zers in 2022, welcoming 31,394 new young residents. This influx represented 26.4% of its population, with Gen Z totaling 35.9% of the city as a whole.
  2. Provo, Utah 
    Provo attracted 27,523 Gen Z transplants last year, comprising almost 25% of its population. Overall, Gen Zers now constitute a significant 42.4% of Provo’s total demographic.
  3. Boulder, Colorado
    Boulder saw 25,028 Gen Z newcomers in 2022, accounting for 23.9% of its population. This surge has led to Gen Zers making up 33.2% of Boulder’s inhabitants.
  4. College Station, Texas
    College Station had an influx of 27,247 Gen Z individuals, representing 22.2% of the city’s population. In total, Gen Z now makes up 39.2% of the population here.
  5. Athens, Georgia
    Athens became home to 22,213 new Gen Z residents last year, making up 17.4% of its total population. Gen Zers now comprise 27.7% of Athens’ residents.
  6. Tallahassee, Florida
    Tallahassee welcomed 34,570 Gen Z transplants in 2022, contributing to 17.4% of its overall population. Gen Zers now account for a total of 29.5% of the city’s total inhabitants.
  7. Berkeley, California
    Berkeley attracted 18,699 new Gen Z residents, or 15.8% of its population. Gen Z individuals now make up 26.5% of Berkeley’s total populace.
  8. Gainesville, Florida
    Gainesville saw 22,262 Gen Z newcomers in 2022, or 15.4% of its population. This influx has led to Gen Zers constituting almost 35.0% of Gainesville’s residents.
  9. Columbia, South Carolina
    Columbia had 20,778 Gen Z individuals move in, accounting for 15.1% of its total population. In total, Gen Z now forms 25.9% of Columbia.
  10. Syracuse, New York
    Syracuse welcomed 19,664 new Gen Z residents in 2022, or 13.8% of the population – putting Gen Z at a total of 19.6%. 

Data and Methodology

Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey for 2022. The study included 268 cities that had available data and 100,000 or more people aged 1 or over. Gen Z was defined as those aged 18 to 24. Cities were ranked by the percentage of the total population represented by Gen Zers who moved into the city in 2022.

This story was produced by SmartAsset and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.



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