More millennials are moving away from where they grew up and moving into cities with the hope of a career.
An FKD Feature exclusive

These days, more millennials move out of their hometowns and moving into cities. I, myself, moved out and away from a small town in Connecticut to New York City this past summer. I moved to the city for graduate school, to be surrounded by other artists, and to find a job that utilizes my degrees. Other millennials are leaving rural areas because they don’t have much opportunity or reason to stay in their hometowns. The millennial age means moving toward opportunistic environments.

The top reasons for leaving

Millennials in Mississippi are leaving the state at a fast rate. The millennial population in the state has had a 3.9 percent decrease to 801,799 millennials over the past six years. A huge reason for this is when millennials leave their towns to go to college, hardly any move back. Mississippi also only has one city, Jackson. Millennials are leaving to move into more populous cities because of the work opportunities they can find.

Illinois is having a similar problem. By 2014, they had a total loss of 148,000 millennials. They are losing their millennials primarily due to economic reasons. Illinois has a slow-moving economy and few job prospects – it’s not the environment millennials are looking for. Millennials who do stay in the state often move to Chicago to pursue work opportunities. But small towns are having fewer and fewer young people start families in their borders.

What are states doing?

States having their millennial population move away are trying to become more appealing. Wisconsin has launched a $1 million dollar social media campaign to convince millennials of the Wisconsin lifestyle. The marketing will be targeted at ages 21-35 in the Wisconsin area. The platforms and ads are largely on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These ads will promote the benefits of settling down in the state.

Part of the campaign is convincing millennials in Chicago to move to Wisconsin. The move is incentivized by promises of shorter commute times and an average rent price that’s 42 percent lower in Milwaukee than it is in the Windy City. By making its state seem like a good lifestyle choice and not just a smart career choice, Wisconsin is hoping to attract more millennials looking to settle down. States across the U.S. should follow suit. Marketing a state is a smart move to attract millennials back into their towns.


Millennials may be moving out of rural areas, but many states are planning on bringing them back. As smaller towns undertake efforts to paint themselves as smart, current and affordable options, more millennials might move out of cities. Hopefully, as millennials move away from urban areas, they can bring some much-needed revenue to these states’ economies.

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Posted 01.17.2018 - 11:00 am EDT