The Metropolitan Revolution: Young Adults Flock to Houston, Denver

In the Magazine
Denver's Civic Center Park. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Could this be the end of the boomerang generation? In their upcoming book, The Metropolitan Revolution, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley track how America’s young adults are hitting the road, moving out of their parents’ homes, leaving marginal jobs, and crossing state lines for better employment opportunities. Census data reveal that young people are increasingly more mobile and willing to uproot themselves to new cities, very often in new states, in search of jobs. But forget New York City or San Francisco. This generation is taking up in hubs like Houston and Denver, where industries like consulting and solar energy are flourishing—setting up a shift in America’s power centers. Below, see the top 10 cities of the future.

Metro Area                Avg. Migration*

Washington, D.C.          10,337
Houston                        10,306
Denver                          9,457
Portland, Ore.               8,249
Austin, Texas                7,774
Dallas                           6,714
Riverside, Calif.            6,229
Seattle                          4,478
San Antonio                  3,796
Charlotte, N.C.              2,835

*Average annual net migration of 25- to 34-year-olds, 2009–11.

Adapted from The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy, by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley. Brookings Institution Press, $29.95.

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