OK… we heard you! In response to the great feedback we received on the “Monday Mapday: Millennial Homeowners” post, we decided to further explore this topic. These maps show a more complete picture – they show where Millennials are both renting and owning homes. As you’ll see, two completely different patterns emerge.
But, before we get there, let’s look at where Millennials live in metro Atlanta, regardless of whether they rent or own. Figure 1 shows the percent of residents who are age 18-34 (i.e. Millennials) by census tract. The pink areas, primarily in the urban core with pockets in some of the outermost counties, have the greatest density of Millennials. This spatial pattern makes sense because we have heard a lot about the preferences of Millennials to live near dense, urban centers. And the fact that at least some of this cohort is still in college, the clusters around colleges in the outermost counties also make sense.
Using the most recent American Community Survey data (2010-2014 5-year estimates), Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the percentage of occupied housing units that are either owned by Millennials (Figure 2), or rented by Millennials (Figure 3). Figure 2 maps the same data used in the “Monday Mapday: Millennial Homeowners” map, but it breaks the data up into slightly different ranges, so the maps will look slightly different. Regardless, both maps present the same idea that many Millennials, like other age cohorts, look to some outlying counties to purchase homes, and affordability may be a reason for this pattern. But you can also see heavy concentrations within the urban core as well, a pattern that reflects the densities shown with Figure 1.
The percentage of occupied housing units that are rented by a Millennial is shown in Figure 3. Census tracts that have high rates of Millennial renters are heavily concentrated in the urban core and along the interstates. Further, there are much higher densities of Millennial renters compared to Millennial owners – units rented by Millennials account for nearly 85 percent of housing units in some locations, while the greatest concentration of Millennial homeowners peaks at 29 percent. One thing to consider, however, is the fact that the heaviest concentrations of the region’s rental housing is also located in the urban core. Still, a good chunk of that is being rented by the Millennial generation.
We hope this clarifies the latest Monday Mapday, which is actually supposed to present a simple concept visually. But the spatial patterns of where Millennials live, rent and own are obviously a little more complicated.