Many stereotypes are floating around about US millennials, not the least of which is that they all live in San Francisco and Brooklyn.

Well, that’s not entirely true. At 75 million strong, millennials, now ages 21 to 37, are the largest working generation in the country. Where they live and where attracts them don’t just reflect a generation’s desires. It’s also a signal where the economy will grow in the future. Young working adults are critically important for local growth.

Surprisingly, the cities with the highest percentage of millennials aren’t all on the coasts. Here are the places with the highest shares:

Provo, Utah is 43 miles from the state’s capital, Salt Lake City. It’s also one of the country’s fastest growing cities. Provo has boomed with pro-business policies and low corporate taxes. It’s also home to many students, with two prominent universities, Brigham Young and Utah Valley.

Below are the metropolitan areas with the lowest shares of millennials:

The metro areas of Florida have some of the lowest percentages in the US, due to the fact, Florida is a popular retirement destination, with the highest share of senior citizens of 17% as of the last US census.

States With the Highest Millennial Population

By pure numbers, the millennial populations of California, Texas, and New York outnumber the rest of the country by a lot. If California’s millennial population were a country, it would be the 92nd largest country in the world. California’s millennial population is larger than Switzerland’s, Denmark’s, and Finland’s population in general.

The US States with the highest number of millennials

Some states have larger populations than others, across all generations. Factoring that tells a slightly different story:

The US States with the highest share of millennials

If the states with the highest share of millennials shock you, it’s because their populations, overall, are small. Fewer than one million people live in Washington DC, Alaska, and North Dakota, but their millennial ranks are relatively large.

States that are becoming younger

If young adults continue to live and move as they have since 2000, states like North Dakota, Alaska, and Hawaii will soon feel even younger. From 2000 to 2010, these states saw the most significant growth in their young adult (18 to 34) populations. The number of young adults grew by more than 20% in North Dakota. In retrospect, California and New York’s young adult populations increased by less than 6% each.

The US States with the highest growth of young adults (18 to 34)

Many factors can contribute to such demographic changes, like the inpour of young immigrants, state-to-state migration, or higher birth rates. North Dakota had the highest rate of in-migration of any state. From 2012 to 2015, North Dakota saw over a 5% increase in the number of 25- to 29-year-olds residing in the state. (The average national growth rate, over the same period, was less than 2%.)

 

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