Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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
A view of the Charlotte skyline from Marshall Park.Shutterstock
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.
Pike Place Market in Seattle.Shutterstock
Seattle gained more millennials than any other city on the West Coast, adding about 10,000 to its population in 2015.
Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland.Shutterstock
About 7,500 more millennials moved to Oakland in 2015 than left the city, according to SmartAsset.
Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia
People walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.Shutterstock
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 centers, developing new restaurants, and launching a light rail in Norfolk in 2011.
Fargo, North Dakota
Downtown Fargo.Courtesy of Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
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
Jackson Square in New Orleans’ French Quarter.Shutterstock
New Orleans’ millennial population grew by more than 5,000 people from 2010 to 2015, an increase of 8.5%, according to RCLCO.
Beale Street in Memphis.Shutterstock
The population of millennials shot up 9.5% in Memphis between 2010 and 2015, according to RCLCO.
A craftsman in Austin.Shutterstock
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.
A view of Pittsburgh from Schenley Park.Shutterstock
Pittsburgh’s millennial population is growing at the same rate as Austin’s, at 6.6% from 2010 to 2015.
A charity dinner in Athens.Flickr Creative Commons
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.
The Big O Music Festival in Owensboro.Shutterstock
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.