Grand Rapids ranks among ‘most popular’ markets for millennials


Entrepreneurs work as a group at a workshop for millennials. Photo via

Grand Rapids is a millennial magnet.

Grand Rapids is the No. 2 market in terms of recent "millennial movers," according to the "Most Popular Areas for Millennials: Where They Move and Stay," a report by the National Association of Realtors or NAR.

NAR estimates, within the last year, millennials made up 73% of movers to Grand Rapids. Comparatively, the category's top market is Madison, Wisconsin at 75%.

Millennials tend to reside in and move to locations where employment is strong, the report says. In the majority of the top 10 metros, the average unemployment rate was 3.6%.

The Grand Rapids-Wyoming metropolitan area had an unemployment rate of 2.6% and an employment growth rate of 2.2% over last year.

The housing market, however, is tight for millennials looking to move to where jobs are located. The NAR report estimates 22% percent of homes in the Grand Rapids market were affordable to new millennial movers.

The median income for recent millennial movers to Grand Rapids was $53,100.

While millennials made up the majority of new residents in Grand Rapids, they were still in the minority overall. Millennials made up 27% of the total population in the metro.

The National Association of Realtors represents more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate.

Top 10 markets based on "millennial movers"

1.   Madison, Wisconsin – 75%
2.   Grand Rapids-Wyoming – 73%
3.   Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington – 70%
4.   Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina – 68%
5.   Omaha, Nebraska-Council Bluffs, Iowa – 67%
6.   Bakersfield, California – 67%
7.   El Paso, Texas – 65%
8.   Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado – 65%
9.   Oklahoma City – 61%
10. Salt Lake City – 61%

Data for the report was sourced from the 2017 American Community Survey.

The report defined millennials as people born between 1980 and 1998.

Home availability was based on market data from as of March 2019.

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