Not All Millennials Dream Of Big City Life

Minneapolis SkylineAs Millennials come of age and graduate from college, they’re making decisions about where they want to live and put down roots. Watching shows like “Girls,” “I Just Want My Pants Back," “Men At Work,” “2 Broke Girls,” and even “Glee,” one would think that all Millennials are clamoring for their chance to make it in New York City. Putting aside the idea that “making it” is really more about simply surviving in the current economy, we had to wonder if most Millennials really are thinking that life in the big city is for them, so we asked nearly 1500 Millennials about where they see themselves living. The breakdown:

  • 41% want to live in a city, the bigger the better;
  • 40% say smaller cities are more their style;
  • 19% prefer small town life.

While slightly more Millennials want to live in a big city, nearly as many think smaller cities are for them. Small cities have been putting in a lot of work to attract young people. There are burgeoning art scenes, green initiatives (including steps to make small cities more walkable and bikeable), revitalizations of downtown areas… In many ways, smaller cities have many of the same attractions as big cities, without the high cost. But also without the name recognition.

There’s still something about telling high school and college friends that you’re living and working in a big city, but slowly, small cities are owning certain niches of cool — music, bike culture, fashion, and more. From Portland to Minneapolis to Detroit (yes, Detroit), creative and innovative young residents are upping their cities’ cool cache, drawing even more hip 20-somethings to move there and even brag about it. What’s more, Millennials have a better chance to get noticed and make their mark in small cities — both in their jobs and in their social sphere —…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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