North Carolina town is among nation’s top destinations for millennials, report says

Simone Jasper
·2 min read

North Carolina is home to one of the nation’s top destinations for millennials, a new report finds.

The town of Cary, just west of Raleigh, ranked No. 7 on a list of cities gaining residents ages 25 to 39, according to results published last month from the personal finance website SmartAsset.

And North Carolina was named the sixth-most popular state for moving millennials after adding more than 8,700 in 2019, results show.

To come up with the lists, SmartAsset said it studied U.S. census data for all states and 180 large cities. The figures date back to 2019, the most recent year with available information.

For each location, analysts compared the number of millennials who moved from or left for another state to determine population trends, according to the financial services website.

And it turns out, younger adults are flocking to Cary.

“The city had a net migration of 3,364 millennials from out of state in 2019, which is a 9.41% jump — the biggest percentage increase in our study,” SmartAssset wrote in its report.

Cary — home to roughly 170,000 people — was the least populous place that made it into SmartAsset’s top 10. The company said millennials have been leaving bigger cities and that many of their top landing spots are in the West and South.

In recent years, people have turned to those regions as they escape harsh winters and high costs of living. But during the pandemic, real estate experts have said people also may be looking to settle in places with bigger floor plans as the coronavirus forces them to spend more time at home, McClatchy News reported.

It’s not the first time a North Carolina city has been recognized as a top place for millennials.

In October, the housing website RentCafé reviewed apartment applications and said Charlotte was one of the most desirable places for people in that age group who are looking to rent.

But North Carolina cites aren’t just attracting millennials, results show.

In February, another SmartAsset study ranked Charlotte and Cary among the top U.S. cities where retirees are moving. That same month, the college town Greenville was named among the cities where people in Generation Z want to live, McClatchy News reported.

In the most recent SmartAsset report, Raleigh was the only other North Carolina destination to earn a top 25 spot, landing at No. 13.

Overall, Denver was named the top city for millennials. Seattle, Phoenix, Austin (Texas), Colorado Springs and Frisco (Texas) were the other cities ahead of Cary.

The state attracting the most residents from that age group was Texas, which had a net migration of more than 33,000, results show.

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