The 15 cheapest cities with a lot of young residents


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Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

Less likely to be restricted by family and mortgages, young adults tend to be more mobile than their older counterparts. Cheaper cities where young people can rent or own a home are especially attractive to those who may still be burdened with student loans or who are just starting out in their careers.

Nationally, people under the age of 30 make up about 38% of the population, according to data from the US Census Bureau. While the US population as a whole is aging, and many cities are grappling with the effects of stagnating or declining young populations, some more affordable cities and states are becoming especially popular among younger age groups.

Initial releases of the 2020 decennial census confirmed several important demographic trends that are increasingly challenging to policy makers in the United States. These trends include declining geographic mobility, an unprecedented decline in population growth, and a rapidly aging society. In 2000, more than 42% of the US population was under the age of 30. By 2020, that number had fallen to just over 38%. Conversely, Americans over 65 years of age represented 12.4% of the population in 2000, but now account for nearly 17% of the total. A major contributing factor is that the fertility rate in the United States has fallen for six consecutive years, and the number of births in 2020 is at its lowest level since 1979.

The effects of these changes will have long-lasting consequences across the country. According to an analysis by the Brookings Institution, all states and metropolitan areas are expected to continue to experience growth in their populations over the age of 55. This will lead to higher health care costs and lower tax revenue, among other challenges.

However, for younger age groups – with population shares falling nationally – it will largely be migration that determines which sites will see gains or losses. According to the National Association of Realtors, affordability is more important for people under the age of 30 than for any other age group.

Affordable countries tend to have more young people

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Recent census data shows consistency with these trends—that is, locations with lower than average costs of living tend to attract more young people.

Statewide, Utah and Texas have the largest youth populations, with 48.2% and 42.8% of the population, respectively, under 30 years of age. These two states offer a 3.5% lower cost of living than the average. Texas, in particular, stands out as being among the best states in terms of total population growth, net immigration, and growth in its young population over the past ten years. These trends have only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, causing more individuals, families and businesses to relocate to Texas from high-cost states like California in search of lower taxes, more affordable housing, and fewer government restrictions.

To find the cheapest cities with large numbers of young people, researchers at Porch analyzed the latest data from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The researchers ranked the sites according to the proportion of the population under the age of 30. The researchers also calculated the total population under 30, the cost of living (compared to the national average), the average cost of renting a bedroom, and the median income of full-time workers under 30. Only central areas with lower-than-average costs of living were included. in the analysis.

Below are the cheapest large metro areas (population 1 million or more) with the largest number of young people.

15. Cary Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 39.6%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 569275
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -3.9%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: USD 1134
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $36000

14. Cincinnati, oh-ki-in

Cincinnati
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 39.6%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 841529
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -9.4%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $754
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $35,000

13. Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News, Virginia, North Carolina

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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 39.7%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 623,612
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -3.6%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $1045
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $32,000

12. Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas

Kansas City, Missouri
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 39.7%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 86399
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -7.2%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $919
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $35,000

11. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 39.9%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 830190
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -5.6%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: 1114 USD
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: 33,900 dollars

10. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona

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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.3%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 1,963,911
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -1.3%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: 1111 USD
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $33,000

9. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

Omaha Nebraska
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.6%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 416902
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -8.3%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $852
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $36000

8. Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Alpharetta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline, autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.6%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 2,415,139
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -2.1%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: USD 1126
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $34,300

7. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.7%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 812243
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -8.4%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $886
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $33,600

6. Indianapolis – Carmel – Anderson, Indiana

Indianapolis
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.7%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 833857
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -8.9%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $831
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $35,000

5. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas

Austin, Texas
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 40.9%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 921268
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -0.7%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: 1309 US dollars
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $37,000

4. Memphis, TN-MS-AR

Memphis, Tennessee
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 41.2%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 507,768
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -10.4%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $836
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: 30 thousand dollars

3. Oklahoma City, okay

Oklahoma City skyline
Natalia Bratislavsky / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 42.0%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 611458
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -10.2%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $785
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $31,300

2. San Antonio – New Braunfels, Texas

San Antonio, Texas outdoors
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 42.6%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 1035508
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -6.7%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $981
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: 30 thousand dollars

1. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Percentage of the population under the age of 30: 45.0%
  • Total population under the age of 30: 575620
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -1.4%
  • Average rent for one bedroom: $1073
  • Average income for full-time workers under the age of 30: $33,000

Detailed and methodological results

Millennial work desk
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With 45% of its population under the age of 30, the Salt Lake City metro area has the largest proportion of youth under the age of 30 among the nation’s large metros. The cost of living in Salt Lake City is 1.4% below average, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just below the national average rent of $1,096.

Among the cheapest big metro stations with the most youngsters, the median one-bedroom rent ranges from $754 in Cincinnati to $1,309 in Austin. While rents in Austin are more expensive than in other metros, full-time workers there earn more than the national average.

In some of the cheaper small and medium metro areas, young people under the age of 30 make up the majority of the population. Young people under the age of 30 represent about 58% of the population in Provo-Orim, Utah, and 55% in College Station, Texas. Very affordable one-bedroom apartment rents on both metros, priced at $874 and $817, respectively.

To find the cheapest cities with a large youth population, researchers at Porch analyzed the latest data from the general use microdata sample of the US Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, the 2019 regional price parity released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the US Department of Economic Analysis. Housing and Urban Development No. 50. Percentage Rent Estimates. The researchers ranked the sites according to the proportion of the population under the age of 30. And in the event of a tie, metros with more residents under the age of 30 ranked higher. The researchers also calculated the cost of living (compared to the average), the average cost of one-bedroom rent, and the median income of full-time workers under the age of 30. Only locations with lower than average costs of living were included in the analysis.

To improve relevance, urban areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. In addition, the central regions were grouped into the following groups based on population size:

  • Small central areas: 100,000–349,999
  • Medium-sized central areas: 350,000-999,999
  • Large metro: million or more

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