St Louis’ Millennial Population Shows a Shift From City To St Charles County

The millennial generation, people born from 1981 through 1994, is predicted to outnumber the baby boomer generation sometime in 2019.  Given the size of the generation, as well as the fact many are getting married and starting families, the real estate industry is very interested in these young people.  Much time is spent trying to figure out whether they want to buy or rent, whether they will consider the suburbs or just stick to urban areas, etc.

Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that more than a third of the residents in the city of St Louis are millennials, attracted, no doubt, by the city lifestyle, a sharp contrast from the suburban upbringing many of them had with their baby boomer parents.  However, the tides may be turning though.

As the table below shows, during 2017 the millennial population in the city of St Louis dropped by 1.4% while St Charles County grew by 1.0% and St Louis and Jefferson County by 0.3% each.  As of 2017, the city of St Louis had 105,900 millennials living there, while St Charles County had 103,500, but if the trend continues, the millennial population in St Charles County will surpass the city of St Louis soon.  Who knows?  Maybe the millennials are more like us baby boomers than we thought and will end up buying homes in suburbia?

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change – 2017

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change - 2017

Projected Population by Generation

Projected Population by Generation

The City Of St Louis Has Youngest Population and Lowest Homeownership Rate In Area

In the real estate community there are frequent discussions about the millennial’s and their impact on the real estate market.  Since their generation makes up the largest share of the population presently,  their interest, or lack thereof, in homeownership definitely has the attention of us in the real estate industry.   The consensus among many in the real estate industry is that  millennials don’t value homeownership as much as their baby boomer parents did, and do, however, they don’t necessarily have anything against the idea.  The millennial generation seems to be more driven by lifestyle and flexibility than whether or not they own where they live.

With this in mind, today I wanted to look at the median age of the city of St Louis as well as the surrounding counties to see where the younger people are migrating as well as look at the homeownership rates for those areas.  While I don’t know that there is a relationship between the median age of an area and the homeownership rate necessarily, there well could be.

The City of St Louis is where the young people are…

As the map below shows, the city of St Louis, with a median age of it’s population of 34.6 years, has the youngest population followed by St Charles county with a median age of 37.4 years.

The City of St Louis has the lowest homeownership rate by far…

As the second map below shows, the city of St Louis also has the lowest homeownership rate at 47.8%, however, St Charles County, the county with the second youngest median age has one of the highest homeownership rates in the area at 81.34%.

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St Louis Millennials Are Moving To The City and Their Parents Are Moving Out

I have the honor of serving as chairman of the St Louis Industry Forum which consists of leaders of professional and trade associations that are engaged in some aspect of the real estate industry in St Louis (such as REALTORS, Builders, Mortgage Lenders, Bankers, etc) and at our bi-monthly meetings millennial’s are often the topic of conversation with regard to this generations thoughts on home ownership vs. renting, where they want to live and other related matters.  It’s no surprise our industry would be so focused on the millennial generation since this group of teens to 30-something year-olds represents the largest generation (and group of future homeowners or tenants) we have seen.

In other articles I have addressed the issue of homeownership by the millennial generation so in this one I am instead going to look at where the millennials are moving.  I prepared the table below which shows all of the major counties in the MSA’s in Missouri, home affordability in those areas as well as the change in population with regard to the millennial generation as well as their parents generation, the baby boomers.

Millennials are heading to the city of St Louis…

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