City Observatory tracks something that they call “The Young and Restless.” It refers to the segment of the US population that is between 25-34 years old and has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
We know that people in this age bracket tend to be relatively mobile and that the likelihood of moving decreases as people age. So it’s a potential leading indicator for the city regions of the future. It also adds a bit more nuance to the urban vs. suburban growth debate.
According to City Observatory, between 2012 and 2016 the number of 25 to 34 year olds with a 4-year degree living in one of the 53 largest largest cities in the US increased by 19%. This is compared to a 4% increase in the overall population in these cities.
This increase in young well-educated adults is also happening 50% faster in the largest cities. So the young and educated still seem to be demanding city living, even if the world is arguably still suburbanizing.
Below is a snapshot of City Observatory’s latest data. I’ve sorted the list by total change in population (2012 to 2016). Happy to see Philadelphia near the top. If you do it based on percentage, Detroit wins with a 64% increase.
For the full list of cities, check out City Observatory.