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Why Gen Z Is Leaving Big Cities Behind

Why Gen Z Is Leaving Big Cities Behind

“Country roads, take me home” is ringing especially true for Gen Z these days.

A new report found that a growing number of Gen Zers are moving away from urban areas in favor of simpler, quieter and cheaper lifestyles in the Midwest and scenic mountain regions.

“Gen Zers are increasingly drawn to simpler living in their housing choices,” said Emilia Mann, a senior analyst at StorageCafe. “Unlike millennials, who often gravitate to DC, Washington and Illinois, Gen Zers tend to favor states with lower population density, from the mountainous terrains of Montana and Idaho to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska.”

One of the key drivers behind this migration is the newfound acceptance of remote work, which has granted Gen Z the freedom to choose where they live without compromising their careers.

“Gen Z doesn’t have the ties to metropolitan centers that millennials did in entering the workforce,” said Noah Mallin, chief strategy officer of Gen Z-focused IMGN Media. “Remember, their entry into the job market coincided with remote working, and there’s an expectation that they will have more flexibility moving forward.”

Additionally, as the real estate market continues to fluctuate and housing affordability remains a concern, young adults are looking to places where affordability and availability align with their goals, even if that’s in the heart of the Midwest.

According to Markus Moos, a professor at the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo, generational differences in housing and location desires are usually shaped by dominant events of the times. For Gen Z, growing up in the aftermath of the Great Recession and watching their families struggle financially made a big impact on their own spending habits. Since then, they’ve also come of age in a tumultuous political and economic landscape, as well as a global pandemic.

“Gen Z in particular will be making decisions in a context of increased housing costs, but importantly also the aftermath of a pandemic that highlighted the importance of access to open space,” Moos said.

Let’s just say, it’s no surprise Gen Z is looking for some peace and quiet.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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