The Most Popular Cities For Millennials

by Kathy Morris
Study - 10 months ago

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most popular cities for millennials

Millennials make up nearly 25% of the total US Population. However, the population of millennials is not spread even close to evenly throughout the country. As a group, 23-38 year olds tend to cluster in some cities and flee others.

After finding the cities where millennials thrive, we decided to find the cities that are most popular among millennials as whole. We have a list of the 100 most popular cities for millennials, but first let’s check out the 10 cities millennials can’t get enough of:

The Most Popular Cities For Millennials

  1. Somerville, Massachusetts
  2. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  3. Redmond, Washington
  4. Arlington, Virginia
  5. Orlando, Florida
  6. Sunnyvale, California
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Washington, DC

These 10 cities have the highest concentration of millennials in the country. The top 4 cities may not seem familiar, but they are all within commuting distance of major cities. These cities highlight a trend: As millennials age and housing costs rise, many are leaving the cities they love, for nearby cities they can afford.

Your city not in the top 10? Jump to the bottom to see where it landed, or keep reading to see how we determined the most popular cities for millennials.

How We Determined The Most Popular Cities For Millennials

This one was pretty simple. We used the 2018 American Community Survey to find the cities with the largest concentration of millennials. We looked at the percentage of each cities’ population that was composed of people in the 25-39 year old bracket. While this excludes 24 year old millennials and includes 39 year olds (Gen X), it was the most comprehensive look at the generation available.

The higher the percentage of millennials, the more popular the city is for millennials. Here is a breakdown of the top 10:

1. Somerville, Massachusetts

somerville, massahusetts

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Population: 81,568
Percentage Of Millennials: 40.1%

If you ask someone in Somerville where they live, good chances they’ll just say “Boston.” That’s because Somerville is just a tidy 15 minute drive from Boston. Almost half of Somerville residents are millennials, a truly impressive number. One reason so many millennials call Somerville home? The city offers Boston conveniences, at a price they can actually afford.

2. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, MA

Source: Flickr User EandJsFilmCrew | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 118,967
Percentage Of Millennials: 35.9%

Cambridge is home to Harvard and a high concentration of millennials. Similar to Somerville, Cambridge is close enough to Boston to make commuting feasible.

3.Redmond, Washington

Redmond, WA

Source: Public domain

Population: 67,680
Percentage Of Millennials: 33.8%

Redmond, Washington is the third most popular city for millennials, with an impressive 33% of its residents being a millennial. Just 15 miles east of Seattle, Redmond is the place to be for many millennials.

4. Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Mariordo (Mario | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 237,521
Percentage Of Millennials: 33.7%

Many millennials work in DC, but call Arlington home. 17 miles from the nation’s capital, the prices are more affordable, the homes are more spacious, with a commute to DC that won’t drive them insane.

5. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, FL

Source: Pixabya User Eduneri

Population: 285,705
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.8%

Sunny Orlando is a home to a good chunk of millennials. Good weather, favorable job prospects, and a childhood spent watching Disney, no doubt help keep Orlando full of millennials.

6. Sunnyvale, California


Source: Wikipedia User Sanjosecaliforn

Population: 153,175
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.6%

Silicon Valley has some of the most exciting new companies and job opportunities available to millennials. So no one should be surprised to see Sunnyvale is the 6th most popular city for millennials.

7. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Population: 744,949
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.5%

We couldn’t make a list on the most popular cities for millennials without Seattle. While neighboring suburb Redmond may have a higher percentage of millennials, no one lives in Redmond to live in Redmond. They live in Redmond to be near Seattle. The trendy city may be getting pricier, but it still has sizzling hot job opportunities and exciting social events.

8. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Bernard Gagnon | GFDL

Population: 883,305
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.5%

Even as millennials age and prices rise, San Francisco still remains one of the most popular cities for millennials. The bay city’s population is 32% millennial. Even though San Fran has the highest rent in the nation, millennials are still willing to pay the premium to be close to all the city has to offer.

9. Denver, Colorado

Denver, CO

Source: Wikipedia User R0uge

Population: 716,492
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.3

Denver, Colorado is pretty high up on the list of most popular cities for millennials. Denver offers breathtaking scenery and an outdoorsy, relaxed atmosphere, which its residents no doubt appreciate.

10. Washington, DC


Source: Public Domain

Population: 702,455
Percentage Of Millennials: 32.%

The nation’s capital is the 10th most popular city for millennials. 32% of DC’s residents are millennials. While DC has some of the least favorable rates of millennial home ownership, the opportunities are still drawing millennials in.

Summary On The Most Popular Cities For Millennials

While large cities still remain popular among millennials, more and more millennials are calling neighboring suburbs home. Sure, residents of Redmond may say they live in Seattle, but a large chunk of them left Seattle for Redmond

As millennials age and begin settling down this trend should continue. Rising costs of living and shortages of affordable housing also contribute to millennials shifting from cities to nearby suburbs. However, the prominence of cities like San Francisco and Seattle isn’t going anywhere soon. While people may grumble about the price, there are still a large number of millennials who are willing to pay the premium to live in exciting cities with varied opportunities.

Check Out The Top 100 Most Popular Cities For Millennials:

City Population Percent Of Millennials
Somerville, MA 81,568 40
Cambridge, MA 118,967 35
Redmond, WA 67,680 33
Arlington , V 237,521 33
Orlando , FL 285,705 32
Sunnyvale, CA 153,175 32
Seattle, WA 744,949 32
San Francisco, CA 883,305 32
Denver, CO 716,492 32
Washington , DC 702,455 32
Boston 695,926 31
Alexandria 160,530 31
Jersey City 265,560 31
Mountain View 83,377 31
Portland 66,420 31
Austin 964,243 31
Lewisville 106,205 31
Silver Spring 81,816 30
Minneapolis 425,395 30
Salt Lake 200,576 30
Santa Monica 91,417 30
Oakland 429,114 29
Quincy 94,590 29
Beaverton 98,951 29
Atlanta 498,073 28
Portland 652,573 28
Richmond 228,783 28
Miami Beach 91,715 28
Renton 102,152 28
Santa Clara 129,489 28
Tempe 192,354 28
Nashville 665,498 28
North Charleston 119,214 28
Wilmington 70,653 27
Kissimmee 73,596 27
Kirkland 89,557 27
Columbus 895,877 27
Killeen 149,102 27
Charleston 141,088 27
Irving 242,228 27
Alhambra 84,650 27
Clarksville 156,800 27
Chicago 2,705,988 27
Pittsburgh 301,038 27
Enterprise 187,078 27
Durham 274,497 27
Round Rock 128,490 26
Grand Rapids 200,230 26
St. Louis 302,838 26
Milpitas city 80,424 26
Gainesville 133,851 26
Union City 68,521 26
Greenville 68,543 26
Cheektowaga 74,223 26
Union City 74,568 26
San Mateo 105,016 26
Manchester 112,529 26
San Diego 1,425,999 26
Paradise 242,266 26
Dallas 1,345,076 26
Missoula 74,427 26
Chino 91,589 26
Sacramento 508,517 26
Baltimore 602,495 26
Charlotte 872,506 26
Sandy Springs 108,798 26
New Haven 130,407 26
Tacoma 216,271 26
Philadelphia 1,584,138 26
Houston 2,326,090 26
Los Angeles 3,990,469 26
Hillsboro 108,382 26
Raleigh 470,509 25
Rockville 68,252 25
Everett 111,263 25
Redwood 86,186 25
Fayetteville 86,765 25
Norfolk 244,076 25
Madison 258,034 25
Pittsburg 72,443 25
Schaumburg 73,970 25
Fargo 125,040 25
Midland 142,339 25
New Orleans 391,006 25
Bryan 85,447 25
El Cajon 103,229 25
Richmond 110,175 25
West Valley 136,420 25
Santa Ana 332,727 25
Tampa 392,905 25
Rochester 206,290 25
Conroe 87,656 25
Norman 123,469 25
Thornton 139,430 25
Bellflower 77,132 25
Lakewood 80,132 25
Cincinnati 302,615 25
Cranston 81,282 25
Bellevue 147,595 25
St. Paul 307,701 25
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