Forget New York -- millennials are flocking to these 11 US cities in droves

Cities like New York and Washington, DC, have always attracted young people looking to get their start.

But factors such as rising real-estate prices and stiff job competition have sent millennials searching for other places in the US to call home.

We rounded up the cities and towns that millennials have moved to in droves over the past few years, using data from personal-finance company SmartAsset, real-estate-analytics firm RCLCO, and mortgage-software company Ellie Mae.

Here are the places you’ll find booming millennial populations:


Charlotte, North Carolina

ShutterstockA view of the Charlotte skyline from Marshall Park.

The millennial population of Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, grew by nearly 11,000 in 2015, the latest year for which there is data.


Seattle, Washington

ShutterstockPike Place Market in Seattle.

Seattle gained more millennials than any other city on the West Coast, adding about 10,000 to its population in 2015.


Oakland, California

ShutterstockLake Merritt in downtown Oakland.

About 7,500 more millennials moved to Oakland in 2015 than left the city, according to SmartAsset.


Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia

ShutterstockPeople walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

The Norfolk-Virginia Beach metropolitan area saw the largest uptick as a percentage of its population. The area’s metropolitan population grew by 16% from 2010 to 2015, according to RCLCO.

The region has worked hard to attract younger people, revamping city centres, developing new restaurants, and launching a light rail in Norfolk in 2011.


Fargo, North Dakota

Courtesy of Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s BureauDowntown Fargo.

Believe it or not, chilly Fargo, North Dakota, saw a surprisingly large boost to its millennial population, adding 5,000 in 2015.


New Orleans, Louisiana

ShutterstockJackson Square in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

New Orleans’ millennial population grew by more than 5,000 people from 2010 to 2015, an increase of 8.5%, according to RCLCO.


Memphis, Tennessee

ShutterstockBeale Street in Memphis.

The population of millennials shot up 9.5% in Memphis between 2010 and 2015, according to RCLCO.


Austin, Texas

ShutterstockA craftsman in Austin.

Long considered a cultural hub for young people, Austin has millennial population that continues to grow, rising 6.6% in five years, according to RCLCO.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

ShutterstockA view of Pittsburgh from Schenley Park.

Pittsburgh’s millennial population is growing at the same rate as Austin’s, at 6.6% from 2010 to 2015.


Athens, Ohio

Flickr Creative CommonsA charity dinner in Athens.

There are only six towns in America where millennials make up more than half of the homebuyers. Athens, home to Ohio University, is one of them, with millennials closing 59% of mortgages there, according to mortgage-data firm Ellie Mae.


Owensboro, Kentucky

ShutterstockThe Big O Music Festival in Owensboro.

Owensboro, Kentucky, may be another surprising entry on this list, but according to Ellie Mae, in 2015 millennials made up 48% of homebuyers in this riverside town of 60,000. Owensboro is within a few hours driving of Nashville, Louisville, and St. Louis, adding to its appeal.

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