These Metro Areas Have the Highest Concentrations of Young Millennials

September 30, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Featured | Global & Regional | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

Young millennials (18-24-year-olds) make up just less than one-tenth (9.4%) of the US population, per US Census Bureau 2017 estimates. But certain metropolitan areas are home to a much larger proportion of 18-24-year-olds than others.

If you’re a digital marketer looking to target the US metropolitan area with the highest population density of 18-24-year olds (this being the age group most receptive to being targeted online) start with Ames, IA where more than 3 in 10 (31.6%) residents were in that age group as of 2017. You can follow Ames with Ithaca, NY (27.5%), Manhattan, KS (26.9%), State College, PA (25.7%) and College Station-Bryan, TX (25.6%).

In fact, here is a list of the other metro areas where at least 20% of the population are young Millennials:

  • Bloomington, IN (25.1%)
  • Lawrence, KS (24.5%)
  • Corvallis, OR (22.9%)
  • Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA (22.3%)
  • Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN (22.1%)
  • Gainesville, FL (21.5%)
  • Champaign-Urbana, IL (21.4%)
  • Jacksonville, NC (20.8%)
  • Columbia, MO (20.6%)
  • Athens-Clarke County, GA (20.3%)
  • Flagstaff, AZ (20.0%)

So, why do these areas have a greater than average proportion of 18-24-year-olds? All but one of the areas where young Millennials make up at least 20% of the total population are also home to a major university – the so-called “college town.” And while there is not a university in Jacksonville, NC, it is home to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, as well as the New River Marine Corps Air Station.

On the other end of the spectrum, the five metropolitan areas with the lowest share of young Millennials also have something in common. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (6.5%), Sebring (6.5%), Homosassa Springs (5.8%), Punta Gorda (5.7%) and The Villages (3.4%) are all in the state of Florida, one known for being a popular retirement destination.

Where to Look for Boomers

While a lot of marketing resources have gone towards targeting the younger generations, research shows that digital marketers are shifting more of their spend to targeting Boomers, which makes sense considering this is the group that possesses the largest portion of household wealth in the US.

It will not come as a surprise that many of the same metro areas that have the lowest proportion of young Millennials also have the oldest median age. The Villages, FL has the oldest median age by far, at 66.4. The Villages is followed by Punta Gorda, FL (58.1) and Homosassa Springs, FL (55.9).

Other areas with a median age older than 50 years are:

  • Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ (50.4)
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL (51.6)
  • Prescott, AZ (52.2)
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL (52.2)
  • Barnstable Town, MA (52.4)
  • Sebring, FL (53.1)

The areas with the youngest median age did not change much from 2016. Provo-Orem, UT had the youngest median age of 24.6, followed by another city in Utah, Logan with a median age of 25.4. Rounding out the five areas with the youngest median age in 2017 are Ames, IA (25.9), Jacksonville, NC (26.0) and Manhattan, KS (26.4).

About the Data: Based on United States Census Bureau estimates.

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