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Gen Z Flocks To New State

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A recent analysis found that Texas gained the most Gen Z residents migrating between states in 2022.

Texas saw a net gain of over 76,000 Gen Z movers, followed by California and Florida.

While California experienced significant outbound migration, it also welcomed the second highest number of Gen Z residents.

Younger workers are moving to relatively more expensive states like California, Washington, Colorado and Virginia that may offer higher-paying jobs and amenities despite higher living costs.

Zillow’s Principal Population Scientist, Edward Berchick said, “Texas offers job opportunities and relative affordability. Many parts of Texas have been successful [in] building a lot of new housing to better accommodate its new residents.”

“People have different priorities at different stages of their lives. Young adults may be more willing to be flexible in their living standards or put a larger share of their income toward housing when starting their careers. California is still attracting young movers, particularly those in the military, in tech and in arts, media and entertainment,” he continued.

Berchick explained, “Our analysis of this data shows that younger workers are moving to more expensive states. This could suggest several things: These states offer higher-paying job opportunities that make it financially viable to live there, or that younger workers are willing to be flexible in their living arrangements to afford living in places that offer the amenities and opportunities they want.”

“As movers age, they might look for states where they can afford to put down roots, start a family and buy a home,” emphasized the analyst.

“And then, later in life, they may prioritize living somewhere that offers particular amenities and a lower cost of living ahead of retirement,” predicted Berchick.

Over three-quarters of Gen Z adults surveyed are renting in these states, suggesting flexibility in living arrangements.

While expensive states remain attractive, some Gen Zers may later prioritize affordability and homeownership.

States with the lowest Gen Z migration were Michigan, Maryland and Idaho, with Michigan seeing more departures.

Factors like career, family and retirement are considered in mobility decisions over one’s lifespan.

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