THE INC. LIFE

Studies Show Millennials are Moving to the Suburbs, and Employers are Following

placeholderConventional wisdom says younger workers only want to live in cities, but the conventional wisdom might be wrong.

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BY Dustin McKissen - 12 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

I am not cool. I have never had a man bun. Being in my mid-thirties, I don't plan on buying my first pair of skinny jeans anytime soon. If I grew an ironic mustache, my upper lip would just look unironically dirty. I don't plan on learning how to use Snapchat. The last time I tried to adopt a slang word was early 1998, when I awkwardly used the word "dope" for half of third-period history class. I do not know what a term like "artisanal ham" means or why anyone would drink Kombucha.

I am also not cool enough for city life. In fact, I like living in the suburbs. I like the convenience. I like not ever having to worry if my clothes are out of style (mostly because I already know they are, and no one around me judges me for abandoning "dope" and any pretense of being fashionable during the Clinton administration).

And I am not alone.

A growing number of millennials are moving to the suburbs, and employers are following them--bucking the traditional wisdom that you must be headquartered in an urban area if you ever hope to attract millennial employees. I've seen this phenomenon first hand in the suburban community I live in, St. Charles County, Missouri, where a growing number of large employers and millennials have moved to one of the fastest growing tech communities in the country.

Of course, the word millennial long ago stopped being a term that defined a specific generation, and instead became a way to describe a 23-year-old that you intensely disliked and disrespected, yet still wanted to buy your product.

However, someone born in 1985--solid millennial territory--is now 32 years old. The average age of a first-time mother in the United States is 26. The average age of a first-time father is nearly 31.

If you have kids, you definitely reach a point in life where you want more square feet separating you and those children. It's not that you don't love them--you just don't love being no more than two feet away from them all the time.

Even if you don't have kids, getting older and having the desire for a little more convenience go hand in hand, which means that eventually at least some millennials are going to see the appeal of living in the suburbs. I've been a parent since I was 22 and have never lived in a big urban city.

But my personal bias towards suburbs does not diminish how nice it is to have a short commute and enough house to keep me from having to hear my children fighting over custody of imaginary kittens. That might make me uncool--but if the growing tendency of millennials and employers to move back to the suburbs is any indication, it makes me a lot like many others around my age.