While millennials and baby boomers are America’s largest generations, they are following quite different post-recession migration paths—though both paths are leading them out of Louisiana, according to a new report by The Brookings Institute, a D.C.-based nonprofit public policy organization.
Recently released migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5 year American Community Survey identify major metropolitan areas that attract age groups dominated by millennials and baby boomers for the period 2012-2017 compared to earlier periods.
From 2012 to 2017, the New Orleans metro saw an average annual net migration loss of 2,274 millennials—34% of which were college graduates. As a whole, Louisiana saw an average annual net loss of 2,587 millennials. For the same period, there was an average annual net loss of 547 baby boomers from the New Orleans metro, with the rest of Louisiana posting an average net loss of 597.
Baton Rouge was not included in the study, which looked at the nation’s 53 metro areas with populations exceeding 1 million residents.
The data shows today’s young adult millennials and baby boomer who have reached senior status do not mimic each other. Millennials are more mobile than their elders and more apt to shift with changing opportunities, particularly to areas with knowledge-based economies—such as Houston, Denver, Austin and Seattle. In contrast, baby boomer seniors who move are zeroing in on a smaller set of exclusively Sun Belt destinations long associated with retirees, warm climates and recreation—such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Florida cities of Jacksonville and Tampa.
Overall, migration of these groups post-Great Recession is down compared to rates from 2004 to 2007.
As millennials came of adult age, the migration slowdown reflected stalling housing and job markets, and they continued to delay marriage and childbearing. For seniors, as more baby boomers entered their ranks, these migration patterns reflected a desire to delay retirement or, for those who did retire and wanted to move, difficulty in selling existing homes.