Do Young Families Want To Move To The Suburbs or Do They Have To?

May 11, 2016

The back and forth of articles about whether young, primarily Millennial, families are choosing to live in the city or the suburbs is continuing on like a never-ending Olympic ping-pong volley. The forehand of statistics to prove cities are the prime choice of young families is met with a backhand of data to prove it is the suburbs gaining more residents, which, in turn, is met with a nice drop shot of cherry-picked statistics proving the rebuttal wrong.

Here is another question and a flurry of statistics to consider; even if we agree more young families are moving to the suburbs, are they doing it because they want to, or because they have to? This is the question that CityLab is attempting to get to the bottom of.

In 2014, 25 to 49 year-olds with at least four years of college and kids six-years-old or younger were 6 percent less likely to live in urban neighborhoods than in 2000. But could the almighty dollar be behind this “choice” of living in the suburbs? It is possible there would be more Millennials, even those with young children, choosing to live in more urban, walkable communities and investing in property there if they were able to afford it? But to get the space they need, they may find themselves having to settle for what is the only option, a less-expensive suburban home.

While it may be difficult to get people to admit they ‘settled’ for living in the suburbs, they may admit to having first looked in high-density urban neighborhoods for a dwelling before expanding their search to the suburbs. Or do they actually prefer living in the suburbs?

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