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Why Are So Many Gen Zers Moving To California?

WRE News February 12, 2024


Why Are So Many Gen Zers Moving To California?

There has been no shortage of news and talk regarding outbound migration from California, but a new Zillow (NASDAQ:Z, ZG) analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) has found Gen Z interstate movers are flocking to the Golden State.

While Texas is the number one choice for Gen Zers seeking to relocate to another state, California was the second choice. This goes against the flow of migration trends – in 2022, nearly 215,000 movers left California in 2022, but the state also recorded a net positive gain of nearly 44,000 Gen Z adults who moved there from other states, according to the data released in October.

Zillow also noted that Gen Z movers are heading to other relatively more expensive states compared to all interstate movers – Washington, Colorado and Virginia were among the top 10 states with the highest Gen Z net migration but minimal or negative net migration among all movers who switched states.

And what are the Gen Zers getting upon arrival? Zillow pointed out that more than three-quarters of Gen Z adults who moved to these pricier states are renting (77%) – and the new arrivals are forking over more per month to rent in California ($1,856), Washington ($1,592), Colorado ($1,594) and Virginia ($1,440) versus the median rental price nationally ($1,300).

“Compared to all interstate movers, Gen Z adults who moved to California, Washington, Colorado or Virginia were more likely to have a four-year college degree, more likely to be serving in the military, and more likely to work in tech, ACS data shows,” said Edward Berchick, a principal population scientist at Zillow. “Gen Z movers are likely drawn to the job opportunities in these states, despite the higher costs of housing. They may also be in a stage of life where they’re willing and able to be flexible in their standards of living while starting their careers.”

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