DALLAS — Dallas-Fort Worth has become a magnet for millennial migration in the years since the Great Recession, according to a new Brookings Institution report, even as efforts to lure the heavily sought demographic intensify.
Growing companies — especially tech firms — put a premium on the number of millennials an area has or is able to attract when considering whether to relocate or expand in a certain market.
Because of that, North Texas business groups including the Dallas Regional Chamber have launched vigorous campaigns targeting the roughly 25 to 35 age group.
Brookings used recently released migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify major metros that attracted the most 25- to 34-year-olds for the period of 2012 through 2017.
The Houston area topped the list, with an average annual net migration of 14,767 young adults, followed by the Denver and Dallas areas, with an average of 12,667 and 12,665 millennials per year respectively.
The Seattle area took fourth place, with an average of 11,244, and the Austin area ranked fifth with 8,933 millennial move-ins per year.
With three metro areas in the top five, Texas thumped all other states in millennial migration, tallying 32,398 per year. The next state was Washington, with 18,174 new millennials annually, followed by Colorado with 16,165, and Oregon with 7,542.
The Dallas Regional Chamber launched the “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign in mid-2017 to attract young workers as more companies relocate to the area and make it more competitive for employers to fill positions.
The chamber enlisted North Texas A-listers like Mark Cuban — Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank TV personality, investor and entrepreneur — in its national talent attraction campaign. The campaign paints Dallas and the region as a superior place to start or continue a career, raise a family and have a high standard of living in one of the most affordable locales in the nation.
The campaign also includes a website touting North Texas’ attributes and inviting people to upload a resume to be considered for job opportunities at one of the city’s Fortune 1000 or major headquarters companies.
Overall, migration rates have slowed nationwide since the Great Recession, according to the Brookings report. However, young adult migration rates are substantially higher than those of their elders, the report notes.
“Young adults move when they experience family changes and are seeking jobs, whereas senior moves are associated with a more settled population desiring to downsize or retire,” the report says. “Still, annual mobility rates of both young adults and seniors decreased after the onset of the Great Recession.”
The biggest losers of millennials between 2012 and 2017 were New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which posted net losses of 37,648, 18,722 and 13,757 young workers, respectively.