A new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Los Angeles is one of the American cities with the greatest declines in millennial residents from 2005 to 2015.
The analysis, by rental site Apartment List, found that Los Angeles' millennial population — residents between the ages of 18 and 35 — decreased by 7.4 percent over the last 10 years. The L.A. metro area, with more than 780,000 millennials, is third worst in the nation for millennial population loss, the analysis found.
The loss is particularly acute because political leaders have been touting repopulation of the city's core by younger Angelenos. Plans for expanded transit, vertical development and bike lanes galore have largely been aimed at the young. But while the county has seen overall population growth, the wave of millennial urban dwellers is weakening.
“The high cost of living combined with stagnant incomes make L.A. a relatively unaffordable place for renters,” says Andrew Woo, Apartment List's director of data science. “Fewer millennials are settling in L.A.”
A city's millennial population parallels housing affordability, income growth and job opportunities, the analysis found. The home-ownership rate for L.A. millennials decreased by 7.3 percent since 2005, according to the analysis. “In L.A. specifically, median income decreased by 0.6 percent” during the last 10 years, Woo says.
The data show that the millennial population here dipped as the Great Recession hit in 2007, but it rebounded after the end of the recession, in 2009, only to slowly decline in the following years.
American cities in “the interior” of the nation saw the highest millennial growth rates, the analysis found. Charlotte, North Carolina (which saw its millennial population grow 30.7 percent), Houston (17.4 percent) and Austin, Texas (16.4), were the big winners.
Houston, Austin and Seattle saw both significant millennial population growth and significant income growth, according to the analysis.