Generation Y Cities: 5 Metros Where Millennials Should Move

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By Jerry Kronenberg

BOSTON -- With mobile phones, mobile computing, Foursquare and GPS, Generation Y seems like it's always on the move -- but where should its 20- and 30-something members be moving to?

Move Inc., parent company of Realtor.com and other relocation-oriented Web sites, recently assessed dozens of U.S. cities for everything from nightlife to average apartment rents to find five great places for Generation Y to live. Also called millennials because they've come of age since the year 2000, Generation Y is made up of young adults in their 20s and early- to mid-30s.

"We're finding that millennials look at buying homes differently than baby boomers do," Move's Julie Reynolds says. "Where baby boomers look at homes more as investments, millennials see housing as more of a lifestyle option. More millennials are living closer to where they work, closer to the central part of towns and focus on cultural activities and other things to do other than just work."

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Generation Y Cities: 5 Metros Where Millennials Should Move

This community some 70 miles east of Atlanta is home to the 34,700-student University of Georgia, which provides Gen Y-friendly nightlife and cultural activities.

R.E.M. and the B-52s got their starts in Athens, and Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the 115,000-population city's clubs the "No. 1 College Music Scene" in 2003.

Read more at TheStreet.com.

Photo: Flickr/Mike McCall

Reynolds lived in Dallas for part of her 20s and says she "really enjoyed it. There are lots of cultural activities, really great nightlife -- and the barbecue in Dallas can beat anything."

The northeast Texas city is also home to 10,900-student Southern Methodist University, 17,100-student University of Texas and Dallas and other schools, giving Dallas a large Gen Y population.

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Photo: Flickr/Ken Lund

Arizona's capital and largest city, Phoenix and surrounding communities host the four-campus Arizona State University -- whose 70,400 students make it America's biggest institution of higher learning. 

"Phoenix is such a big university town that you know the nightlife for millennials is very attractive," Reynolds says.

The 4.2 million-population metro area is also a sports lover's paradise, with the Arizona Cardinals football team, Phoenix Suns basketball franchise, Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club and Phoenix Coyotes hockey team all calling the city home.

Read more at TheStreet.com.

Photo: Flickr/humbertomoreno

The Steel City gets the nod for its affordability, good universities and spectator sports.

"Pro sports are practically a religion in Pittsburgh," Reynolds says. "Millennials who like them are really going to go for living there."

Pittsburgh hosts the stories Steelers football franchise, Pirates baseball team and Penguins hockey club.

Read more at TheStreet.com.

Photo: Flickr/dnhoshor

Florida's state capital offers Gen Y'ers a modest 7.2% jobless rate and low-cost housing -- $787 a month average rents and $159,000 median home prices.

And as home to the 40,400-student Florida State University, Tallahassee has plenty of educational opportunities and lots of youth-oriented nightclubs.

Read more at TheStreet.com.

Photo: Flickr/Justin Brockie

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So Move assessed cities for such things as parks, museums, professional sports teams and other recreational offerings.

The firm also focused on communities with nearby colleges and universities, as many millennials are looking for undergraduate or graduate-study programs.

And since many in Generation Y are just starting out and need jobs and affordable housing, Move found cities with low unemployment rates, modest average rents and affordable median home prices.

Read more at TheStreet.com.

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