Young Professionals Is beautiful Washington the next best city for young professionals? (AP file photo)

Is beautiful Washington the next best city for young professionals? (AP file photo)

Which U.S. cities are attracting the most millennials?

Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Josh Hafner

The Wall Street Journal published a take on why young people are moving to the Washington, D.C. area, a metro many abandoned during the recession. A look at recent Census data shows economics are likely at play:

Among the 51 U.S. metro areas with populations of over 1 million, D.C. was ranked #33 in the 2007-2009 period — it was losing Millennials — but now it’s No. 1. San Francisco also saw a stellar jump, from #22 to #6. And Minneapolis soared from #41 to #11.

The common thread, the WSJ claims: “knowledge-based” or “high-tech economies” exist in those cities, the sort of environments that produce  jobs increasingly needed in the U.S. and increasingly attractive to millennials. Other cities high on the list of incoming millennials are more cool-based than tech-based, the piece notes, include Denver, Portland Austin and Seattle. Des Moines, due to its smaller size,  was not considered for the list.

Atlantic Cities recently embarked on a multi-city look at which non-played-out places (Sorry,  Denver/Portland/Austin/Seattle) millennials can thrive in. Omaha made their initial list, as well as Jackson, Miss. and bigger Texas cities like San Antonio and Houston.

Des Moines, again, gets no shout out, though it generally exhibits the same millennial-magnet characteristics: lower unemployment, higher median incomes, a full-service zombie-themed hamburger restaurant. No worries, Des Moines, you do you and watch the young folks roll in.


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About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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