July 12, 2016
Boomers Gravitates Towards Cities
In contrast to the Eisenhower generation, which departed cities for the suburbs, Baby Boomers are following a trend typically lead by younger people, and moving closer to cities.
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A large number of boomers are empty nesters, and no longers have to consider school districts and yard sizes. As a result they are being drawn towards dense urban cores near restaurants, retail shops, movie theaters, and easily accessible public transportation.
Over a million baby boomers, between 2000 and 2010, moved from areas 40 to 80 miles from city centers, while a similar number moved to within 5 miles of city centers, according to an analysis of 50 large cities by the real estate brokerage Redfin.
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However, a 2010 AARP survey found that 85 percent of people 50 to 64 would rather remain in their current residences, but the percentage does decrease with higher income — a relevant detail in places like the Washington region, where household income is double the national median. Those who move increasingly desire to live in places that they can walk and bike to nearby amenities.
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Through surveys of boomers’ preferences it has been revealed that they are more interested in “smart growth” areas than in sprawl. Considering how large of a generation boomers are, even if only a small fraction of them embrace city life, there could be dramatic effect.