Chart of the Day: Growth in Post-College Residency

Yesterday, I found an interesting article in the New York Times about which cities are rapidly growing their young 20-something (post-college) populations.




This is growth rates, not overall numbers, so the results may be a bit misleading. For example, Boston has huge numbers of post-college grads because of the massive amount of colleges in the area, and I’m sure the other typical young person destinations (San Francisco, New York, Chicago, DC, etc.) are still the most important. Instead what we learn here is that young people are moving to cities, and even theoretically non-appealing ones like Houston.

Still, Minneapolis doesn’t do too bad according to this metric, coming in right around average. But we’re getting our butt kicked by Denver. Apart from mountains, light rail, and legalized pot, what do they have that we don’t have? 

10 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Growth in Post-College Residency

  1. Skyler

    Having visited Denver several times in the past year, I really thought of it as Minneapolis with mountains instead of lakes. Maybe climate plays a big role? I feel like a lot of people are holed up between January and March in Mpls, while Denver could still have a 60 degree day in that timeline. Love em both though, and continue to wish Detroit a speedy recovery.

  2. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    This seems to indicate that college grads are moving into cities, regardless of their past demographics. Whereas there are many rust belt or Southern cities that may have had more of a blue-collar past, Minneapolis probably already had a high level of college educated residents for generations.

  3. Obvious Oscar

    We should be thankful that we aren’t being flooded by a rush of college graduates. To be sure, Minneapolis draws a fair number of graduates, especially from local and regional colleges. This, in my view, is preferable to the situation faced by Austin, Denver, Portland and the like, where a national-level perception of the city’s trendiness leads to massive influxes of young people. Not only does our situation promote a better level of regional connectedness and identity, it also keeps social problems like high rent, mass displacement, and high unemployment (and thus less job security for those who are employed) in check, as well as trend-driven bubble economies. Minneapolis has long charted a sober course that kept it out of the ups and downs of socioeconomic trend cycles, and ought to continue doing so.

  4. Reilly

    Ah yes, another Young People Are The Enemy post, pounding the same drums as the anti-renter crowds in Lowry Hill East and Merriam Park. Lovely. Try spending a couple of days in Sioux City or Omaha — one quickly sees that the whole “Del Webb’s Frozen Tundra” concept really isn’t the Shangri-La it’s cracked up to be.

      1. Obvious Oscar

        I didn’t say they are a bad thing entirely. I just said I’m happy enough that Minneapolis isn’t at the top of this particular list. All things in moderation.

    1. Obvious Oscar

      Actually, I was arguing pro-renter here. Most of the cities on this list (Minneapolis included) are growing their populations faster than their housing stock is increasingly–especially affordable rental housing for families. Rent is going up faster than incomes. A massive influx of college graduates from across the country means the working, low-income are actively being forced out of the city.

      1. Nathanael

        If you didn’t have zoning laws, what would happen would be that developers would build a bunch of tall buildings with lots of apartments.

        Nobody would be “forced out”.

        People are forced out by ZONING LAWS which prevent tall buildings from being built. You can’t be forced out simply because your city is popular — developers will simply build taller buildings. But if it’s also illegal to build taller buildings, then you *can* be forced out.

        1. Nathanael

          In a sense, the “anti-tenement” movement was the original movement to force poor people out of the cities.

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