What Your City Should Do to Attract Millennials on the Move

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

If you take a look at the top cities in the United States, you’ll likely see a commonality of a great night life, artisanal food, affordable living, and a public transit system – just to name a few. But there’s an even greater chance you’ll find these cities to be places where Millennials thrive.

So what exactly are these cities doing to attract the 18-34 year-old demographic? For one, they’re embracing the social and environmental trends Millennials love. Many of these cities are also actively pushing to appeal to Millennials’ affinity for urban living.

Below are a few characteristics of the cities saturated with Millennials:

1. Accessibility

A recent survey found that public transportation plays a major role in shaping where Millennials choose to live and spend time. The findings show that 66 percent of Millennials listed high quality transportation as a top factor in deciding where to live. It was also found that Millennials want low cost transit and multiple options for getting around a city. Cities that don’t invest in effective transit solutions stand to lose with Millennials in the long run.

2. Cultural Attractions

6990230709_da9032de4c_zWhether it be sports, food, music, or art, Millennials are likely to conglomerate in cities that cater to their social needs. Also, Millennials eat in restaurants far more than non-Millennials and spend an average of $21 more per month eating out. Additionally, 50 percent of Millennials now refer to themselves as “foodies.” It is no wonder why Austin, Texas is a top Millennial city and a mecca for these self-proclaimed food connoisseurs.

Another important attraction for Millennials is the prominence of a music and entertainment scene. Ranging from music festivals to beer gardens or sporting events to art galleries, a variety of entertainment channels is not only expected-it’s required.

3.  Affordability

Many Millennials are entering the phase of life where they are either looking to settle down or just beginning their careers. And along with this phase of life comes the search for where to live. It is important to note, however, that Millennials look at buying homes differently than Baby Boomers do. Millennials don’t just see buying a home or renting an apartment as an investment. They also see their dwelling option as a lifestyle choice. Milliennials are living closer to work and closer to the central parts of town focused on cultural activities. Cities booming with Millennials are likely to have low unemployment rates, affordable rents and modest home prices.

4. Entrepreneurship and Technology

7713989824_6eb7273a6b_zMillennials are characterized as the generation with big dreams and wanderlust-they’re entrepreneurs. In fact, 54 percent of either want to start a business or have already started one. This statistic is hard to ignore, and several cities are certainly already tuning in. One city that fosters startups and aspiring entrepreneurs is Kansas City. The Kansas City Area Development Council recently implemented a plan to attract and retain Millennials through a range of interactive marketing programs and an end goal to employ more Millennials. In addition, the city has received national recognition for its tech and startup community, such as Google Fiber. It’s a great example of one city, among many others, that caters to Millennial go-getters.

For cities that are looking to attract and retrain Gen Y’ers, they must keep these preferences in mind.

Lauren Katz contributed to this post.

Photo Credit: Flickr via Christopher, John Rogers, & Rodney T.

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.