Gen Z is flocking to college towns, but it is not necessarily because they are headed to school—it is to take advantage of lower housing costs.
- While bustling metros may be outside most Gen Zs’ budgets, college towns offer some of the same opportunities at a much lower cost.
- As more young people move into these college towns, some areas are considering upgrades to cater to the younger crowd.
- Recent graduates are looking to stay near college campuses but not necessarily their alma mater.
Why it’s news
Affordable housing options are likely to draw more residents, but options close to downtown amenities like restaurants and bars will be more enticing to younger demographics.
Gen Z residents are moving to “metros that are socially, economically, and recreationally influenced by colleges,” according to a Today’s Homeowner analysis of U.S. Census data. LinkedIn analysts came to a similar conclusion after reviewing employment information on the social-media site, TheFutureParty reports.
Cities like Columbia, South Carolina; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; and Madison, Wisconsin, are among the most popular locations. At these locations, residents can access the nightlife and downtown activities big cities enjoy without taking on the New York City or LA price tag.
This propensity to stay close to a college campus also fits with Gen Z’s tendency to put off more traditionally adult activities, such as home buying, marriage, or starting a family. Their desire to stay close to younger demographics may also be linked to a feeling that they lost out on the fun when finishing college classes online during the pandemic.