Younger adults prefer urban living. Planners and developers will need to adjust.
More Americans are choosing to live in cities rather than surrounding suburbs — a phenomenon not seen in a century. A recent U.S. Census Bureau report attributes the growth in cities’ populations to young adults, leaving demographers to speculate on this age group’s reluctance to plunge into home ownership at a time when many older Americans struggle with underwater mortgages.
Certainly part of the growth seen in youthful urban renters can be attributed to the sluggish job market and to their uncertainty about the future — hangovers from the Great Recession. But young adults also are waiting longer to marry, start families and follow their parents’ and grandparents’ example of purchasing a house with attached garage on a half-acre suburban cul-de-sac. This pattern was emerging pre-recession, so not all can be explained away by current financial pressures.