Millennials head to the city

Why Millennials are a Generation of City Dwellers

By Annemarie Tompsen

During my high school graduation ceremony I was so anxious my hands shook. Soon I was about to leave my hometown to attend college like many of my peers. I lived in Milford, CT my whole life, but like many Millennials I was about to live away from home for the first time. Unlike my parent’s generation who migrated very little after high school,  my generation was about to experience a new norm. We were leaving small town America and we weren’t looking back. The question immediately became for many of us “what next?”

Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer from Iowa told NPR, “Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don’t come back.” This is a trend in rural America that’s been increasingly growing. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are venturing away from home and heading to big cities. For most of these young people, the “American Dream”  is no longer to have the beautiful suburban home with a white picket fence, but instead, an apartment overlooking busy city streets.

Given the connectivity technology has created,  Millennials have the ability to live anywhere and work remotely for jobs that do not require face-to-face time in the office, but technology hasn’t increased populations in rural areas like predicted. According to Newsweek, cities in 2007 had a 0.5 percent yearly growth in jobs, while the suburbs suffered a 0.1 percent drop. Despite the ability to work remotely, Millennials don’t want to. Neilson reports that 62 percent of Millennials desire a mixed urban community with shops, restaurants and offices, rather than a rural, small town.

Known as the social generation, Millennials are staying in the city not for a lack of career opportunity, but because they love social environments. We are the promoters and advocators of the social media movement and are dependent on both real and virtual interactions. People are what keep this “social generation” attracted to urban living and technology simply can not replace that. It is personal interactions that allow for innovation and creativity. So far, technology hasn’t found a way replicate this.  As Hillary Clinton stated at the Dreamforce conference, “Technology has put an even higher premium on face-to-face.”

About the Writer

annemarieAnnemarie Tompsen currently studies Publishing and Writing at Emerson College, where she also works part time at the Lacerte Family Writing & Academic Resource Center. A New Englander at heart, she’s recently moved to the Boston area from the small coastal town of Milford, CT. In her spare time she frequents local Boston coffee shops and has taken an interest in finding the diviest diners around. With the summer approaching she looks forward to exploring Boston and traveling along the coast any chance she can. Annemarie hopes to use her love for the written word to pursue a profession in the publishing industry and to further develop her writing career.

Feature Image Millennial and Cityscape via Shutterstock

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