Millennials are 25 percent more prevalent in New Jersey towns and cities that meet smart growth metrics, according to a new report from New Jersey Future.
The report (“Where Are We Going?”) confirmed that millennials, which it defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, are gravitating to walkable, more urbanized locations with jobs, housing, entertainment, and amenities all within easy reach. It also found that, unlike the rest of the country, the millennial population is shrinking in New Jersey: While the number of millennials grew nationally by 6.8 percent, it declined in New Jersey by 2.4 percent between 2000 and 2013, the report contends.
The new demand for mixed-use, walkable downtowns is being driven largely by the preferences of the millennial generation, who are rejecting in large numbers the car-dependent suburbs of their parents’ generation.
Hoboken has the highest concentration of millennials in the state – 45 percent. The proportion of 22- to 34-year olds in neighboring Jersey City was also high, about 28 percent.
The report also found that baby boomers, formerly the largest generation in America, live disproportionately in suburban communities that don’t score well on smart-growth metrics and where residents are dependent on their cars to get around.