Millennials Are Staying Closer to Home: Here’s Why  

Aaron Nolan, left, 32, of Detroit, moved around the country for work before settling back in his hometown. Breyana Lowe, right, 37, of Detroit, moved back to the city after working in Memphis, Tenn. 

Photos courtesy of Aaron Nolan and Breyana Lowe 

  

Black women, millennials in particular, are living their best lives when it comes to settling down and choosing safety and affordability around the country – especially when the gender and racial wage gap are on the table. They’re staying close to their hometown, too.   

According to data from the American Association of University Women, Lansing made #3 in the list of best places for women to live.   

Being only a 1.5-hour drive from Detroit, Lansing is described as a diverse city with a lower crime rate than many places in the state. According to Madamenoire, 23 percent of Lansing’s population is Black. Notable cities that made the list are Augusta, Ga., ranked #1, and Grand Prairie, Tex., ranked #2.  

Locally, Detroit resident Aaron Nolan, 32, told the Michigan Chronicle that as a native Detroiter he moved to Georgia for college seven years ago, and over the past several years moved to Chicago, Washington, D.C., then back to Georgia before deciding to settle back home primarily because of family and getting older.  

“Your values just shift,” he said. “For me, I wanted to be closer to family and I had the opportunity and privilege to go and study out of the state and build a career in different regions around the country. To be able to go back home and garner a position that pays me well and a salary I like is shocking.”  

Nolan, who works in commercial property management with a consulting business on the side, went on to explain that he didn’t think at one point in his career that money existed here – but he found out that was not the case.  

“There is a ton of opportunity for construction and commercial real estate,” Nolan said.  

From the high quality of life and better price points here to networking – Nolan encourages millennials looking to move out of town to stay awhile and rethink things. “[There is] opportunity here — but a lot of times we don’t know what we don’t know, especially Black people in America. We have to seek out different things.”  

Nolan is not alone in his choice to stay close to home. CBS reported that even more millennials are living at home now “than at any other point this century, according to Zillow.”   

Adults between the ages of 23 and 37 are choosing to stay (or return) home near or back to their parents’ homes with this being a growing trend since 2000.  

Fortune Magazine also reported that more Americans are living near their childhood homes because of economics.  

Fortune reported that on average:  

  • Black Americans move 130 miles away from home.   
  • White Americans move 190 miles away from home.  
  • Asian Americans move 220 miles away from home.   
  • Hispanic Americans move 140 miles away from home.  
  • People born in the top 1 percent move 325 miles away from home.  

According to the article, the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University released data based on census and tax data that for millennials, by 26 years of age, 80 percent moved less than 100 miles from where they were raised; only 10 percent ventured over 500 miles away.  

“The researchers were looking at whether the benefits of wage increases go to the local economy,” according to the article, which adds that the moving patterns of young adults are heavily dependent on race and parental income. “Those from low-income families and Black and Hispanic Americans tended to stay closest to home, the paper finds.”  

Breyana Lowe, 37, of Detroit, grew up in the city, attended Renaissance High School, and went to college at Bowling Green University. Afterward, she moved to Memphis for seven years and moved back last year to be closer to the family during COVID.   

Her remote-turned-hybrid job in Memphis allowed her the option to move to Detroit and work strictly remotely.  

“My employer noticed I was [traveling] home a lot, I was in Detroit,” Lowe, who works in integrated marketing and strategy, said, adding that career flexibility was a game changer for her with being back home. “Mental health is really important and being thriving and successful … and being able to have a full life that includes things that are outside of your job.”  

Lowe, who lives in the Rivertown district, said that while groceries in Detroit are a bit higher than in Memphis, the benefits outweigh the cost difference because moving back allowed her to flourish in the city she calls home.  

“We have our beautiful natural resources. I love … being able to come into my home and as I live here in the city there are great restaurants in the area [and I am] making new friends and, really, Detroit continues to develop and evolve.”  

Black Information Network contributed to this report.  

 

 

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