Gen Z Prefers Texas to Other States

How real estate and job markets made the Lone Star State more appealing than others.

02.23.24
Gen Z Prefers Texas to Other States (Getty Images)

California; HaywardIn the post-COVID era, Texas, known as the Lone Star State, has seen a significant influx of residents, particularly from the Gen Z demographic. Based on what FOX LA  reported, Texas stands out as the top destination for Gen Z movers, gaining over 76,000 new residents in this age group. Factors contributing to this trend include job opportunities, relative affordability, and the state's proactive efforts in constructing new housing to accommodate the growing population.

California follows Texas with nearly 44,000 new Gen Z residents, while Florida comes in third with just over 41,000. Texas also leads the nation in overall population growth, adding 473,453 people across all ages and generations in the surveyed year. In contrast, California experiences the highest outbound migration to other states.

Zillow's principal population scientist, Edward Berchick, explained that the preferences and priorities of individuals vary across different stages of life. Despite California's outbound migration, it continues to attract young movers, especially those in the military, tech, arts, media, and entertainment industries. While California remains popular, Texas is particularly appealing to young adults, offering job prospects and more affordable living options.

The analysis also highlights that over three-quarters (77%) of Gen Z adults in the top states of migration, including California, Washington, Colorado, and Virginia, report renting. Rent prices in these states are higher than the national median, with California leading at $1,856, followed by Washington ($1,592), Colorado ($1,594), and Virginia ($1,440). Berchick suggests that younger workers in these states may be drawn by higher-paying job opportunities or may be willing to make lifestyle concessions, such as living with roommates or in smaller spaces, to afford the amenities and opportunities these areas provide.

Notable in the data are also states like Washington, Colorado, and Virginia, which, despite being more expensive, attract Gen Z movers. Conversely, states with lower Gen Z net migration include Michigan, Maryland, and Idaho, with Michigan being the only state experiencing a negative trend where more Gen Zers left than moved in. Berchick concludes by pointing out that as movers age, their preferences may shift towards states where they can establish roots, start families, and eventually prioritize amenities and a lower cost of living as they approach retirement. It's essential to note that the analysis excludes individuals who reported attending school or university in the past three months to avoid capturing temporary moves related to education.

Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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