Chicago: Land of the Millennials

by James F. McClister

Redfin examines where and how Millennials are living. As it turns out, young people love Chicago.

Enclaves are a feature of almost every American city, and they happen for a variety of reasons. Most notably, of course, are cultural enclaves, which have become little home away from homes for many non-natives. But a less known, yet still growing trend in several metro areas, as Redfin pointed out in a recent survey, is that of Millennial clustering.

As the report indicates, Millennials are flocking to the country’s urban epicenters in droves, and once they get there, they’re figuring out where their peers live and they’re hunkering down right beside them. As a result of the constant grouping, Millennial neighborhoods are beginning to share characteristics, like high price ranges and, not surprisingly, more renters than homeowners.

As it happens, our city of Chicago plays home to seven of the country’s 14 most densely Millennial-populated ZIP codes. Check out our infograph below to see how Millennials are living in The Second City:


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  • Amy says:

    Interesting…a recent survey by Charles Schwab found Millennials have the most optimistic view of Chicago and are more likely to stay in this city rather than move away to the suburbs, another city or more rural areas.

  • Jeff says:

    These points sound like descriptions of “young people” rather than “millennals”. Of course young people (A22-29) of the last 30 years are most likely to live alone, have a college degree, be more open to diversity than the previous generation, live nearby other young & single people and have a roommate of some sort.

    The “Millennial” label meaning seems rather meaningless, nothing about this generation seems much different than “Generation X” or “Generation Y” at the same age.

  • Jon says:

    I’m sorry, but the line about mooching and affluence of a given neighborhood has absolutely no direct correlation to one another. I hate “stats” like this. The median incomes of millennial-heavy neighborhoods could simply be high because millennials choose to live in wealthy, highly desireable and dense areas… That will undoubtedly push the median income higher due to the top earners, and could have absolutely nothing to do with what the millennials themselves are earning. For all we know (and most likely) the millennials are at the bottom end of that earning curve, due to their inexperience in the professional realm, and thus some may still be “mooching.” What a load of B.S.

  • West Erie says:

    This is bad news, not good news, and not surprised that no one can read the data correctly.

    This is % milllenials, by neighborhood. So the higher the % millennials, the lower the % everyone else. So note that Chicago is very high % millennials by neighborhood, and cities like NYC, SF, Boston, DC are lower % millennials by neighborhood. And note that Chicago is the only one of these cities losing population, and is generally cheaper and less in demand.

    Obviously the data show that Chicago is not retaining millennials. It’s drawing them in, but they leave. In contrast, someplace like NYC draws them in, but they stay, so the % millennial is lower, which is a good thing, and speaks to retention of wealth, not just treating the city like a temporary 20-something crash pad/party zone.

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