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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Whenever I'm bored, I can always find something to do on my phone.”

—Male, 17, GA

Have teens have killed another retailer? Aeropostale has filed for bankruptcy, and plans to immediately close 154 of its over 800 stores. Young consumers’ preference for fast fashion and real-time access to trends has left “mall retailers” like Delia’s, Wet Seal, and Aeropostale in the dust. Last year the struggling clothing brand announced they were attempting to revive sales by “exploring strategic alternatives,” and focusing on a “flirty tomboy girl” consumer. However, it missed the mark, and “[t]he majority of the blame for poor performance lies squarely with [Aeropostale’s] failure to realign itself to the changing fashion demands of younger shoppers.” (Washington Post)  

These days, Osh-Kosh-B’Gosh just won’t do for well-to-do kids growing up in a market that might just make them the best-dressed generation. The luxury childrenswear market continues to boom, with a forecasted reach of $291.5 billion by the end of 2018. Since we first wrote about the trend, more designer brands have launched lines exclusively for “pint-sized clientele,” and online stores focusing on upscale fashion for babies and kids have grown. Although considered a small revenue driver for companies, brands hope that childrenswear will inspire brand loyalty from a young age, and remind adults of their own “coming-of-age moments.” (Digiday

Social network meets “college newspaper on steroids” Odyssey is racking up 30 million uniques a month, with a simple but challenging business model. The site lets any young writer contribute content, as long as they have a unique perspective and publish an article a week. The model results in about 10,000 articles each week from writers aged 18-28, who then share their posts through their own personal social networks. Although they are unpaid, the writers gain exposure from posting to the platform—two to 4.5 times more than if they self-published. (Business Insider)  

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel’s ability to “speak Millennial” has been key to the app’s success. The platform’s appeal lies in the “less demanding” content it encourages. As the Columbia student who interviewed Spiegel put it, “If you want to take a photo of the beautiful day outside…you can put it on Instagram, but what about that huge space of photos that aren’t 10 out of 10 perfection.” Recently Spiegel declared that Snapchat is a “camera company.” Though messaging and content are part of the app, the camera is the focus because “[t]he thing that feeds a social network is content.” (International Business Times)

We recently broke down all the ways Millennials are updating and redefining workplace standards—and it looks like Millennials in the U.K. may also prioritize meaning over a big paycheck. A U.K. survey of 13-25-year-olds revealed that “44% equate happiness with success and 32% said that for them prosperity is more about achieving their personal goals.” The things that might have motivated previous generations were lower priorities: only 11% of U.K. Millennials said they are motivated by the prospect of owning a house, and 29% said they are motivated by being paid more for their work. (Elite Business

Quote of the Day: “The type of commercials that stick in my memory are the ones that make me evaluate my life.”—Female, 28, SD

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