Study: Cleveland Ranks 8th Nationally in Attracting Millennial Professionals

Downtown Cleveland as viewed from The Tremont neighborhood - Aeroplanepics0112
Downtown Cleveland as viewed from The Tremont neighborhood
Young, college-educated professionals are heading to Cleveland in droves, according to a new report released this morning via the Cleveland Foundation.

Cleveland now ranks eighth in the nation for migrating millennials, coming in at about the same rate as Miami and Seattle. Cleveland State University's Center for Population Dynamics at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs conducted the study, which we assume was done by an eyeball test of how many twentysomethings were drinking at the Barrio downtown on a Wednesday evening.

Prior to the population boost, Clevelanders were leaving the city in droves after a swift drop in jobs. The city's reputation for having a bad economy and environment also played a major part in the exodus . While still less attractive to younger members of the workforce than cities such as Los Angeles or New York City, Cleveland's low cost of living combined with a job revival is drawing millennials to the city. (Those opting for dropping their entire paychecks on rent in LA or NY will learn one day, we're guessing.)

Popular neighborhoods for these millennials include downtown, University Circle, Tremont, Detroit Shoreway, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights. Though not included in this study, there's sure to be an uptick in Hingetown, SoLo, NoLoSo25 and SamMcNultysSpareBedroom in the coming years. Those may or may not be real neighborhoods.

The report calls the big move part of the "Fifth Migration" after other big moves in U.S. history, with residents ages 25 to 34 rising more than 76 percent from 2000 to 2012.

From the report:

The study also showcases the dramatic gain of millennials in Downtown Cleveland – a 76 percent increase in 25- to 34-year-old residents from 2000 to 2012. As of 2012, 63 percent of Downtown Cleveland residents were millennials – compared to 20 percent in the Greater Cleveland metro area and 23 percent of the overall U.S. population. Additionally, the study illustrates the density of millennials in the inner-ring suburb of Lakewood, whose millennial population makes up 31 percent of the city’s population, compared to 23 percent nationally.

“We are on the early edge of this fifth migration – and our explosive millennial population growth is changing the face and trajectory of Cleveland,” said Lillian Kuri, Program Director for Arts and Urban Design at the Cleveland Foundation. “We need to understand its impact on the city and the neighborhoods and rapidly harness the local and regional resources to sustain this momentum.”


“Cleveland is converging with national trends when it comes to gains in educated young adults,” said Richey Piiparinen, Director of The Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. “It is important to understand why this is occurring, particularly from macroeconomic standpoints. This analysis attempts to paint a fuller picture of what is driving this ‘brain gain,’ as opposed to simply documenting it. One factor discussed is the opportunities in Cleveland regarding lower barrier of entry related to cost.”

To reinforce that point, in examining the net migration into Cleveland, the study reveals Cuyahoga County drew the most migrants from Kings County, New York (including Brooklyn). The average millennial income in Kings County was $40,440 in 2013, versus $34,597 in Cuyahoga County during the same time period, but when adjusted for cost of living, the New York salary is actually $5,590 less. And the median rent in Kings County is $2,583 versus $1,088 locally.

See, some New Yorkers are already catching on.
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