Study: Millennials happy to live in D.C. area

WASHINGTON — The D.C. area, particularly inside the Capital Beltway, is an attractive place to live for the generation known as millennials or Generation Y — they say so themselves.

ULI Washington’s survey of millennials (those age 20 to 37) in the D.C. area finds that by and large they’re happy with their choice of where to live, and they want to stay. They’re particularly happy with their ability to get around the area, even without a car, which a larger-than average percentage of them don’t own. More specifically:

  • 60 percent say they want to remain inside the Beltway over the next three years;
  • Two-thirds of respondents rent;
  • 46 percent plan to buy a home in the next three years, and 42 percent say they’ll buy inside the Beltway;
  • More than two-thirds of respondents say that walkability is the best things about where they live, and nearly as many said Metro access is among their top three reasons for living where they do;
  • About a third of millennials in the area don’t own a car — twice the proportion nationwide — and even those who do own cars prefer to get to work by walking, biking or taking public transit.

ULI asked questions of 1,344 people — 61 percent of whom live in the District, the rest in selected Virginia and Maryland ZIP codes inside the Beltway.

“While not a representative sampling, this sample mirrors Gen Y in the United States in many key respects, including marital status and racial mix,” ULI Washington says.

“Like a handful of other core cities that are magnets for the educated elite, Washington’s amenities attract millennials,” Lisa Rother, executive director of ULI Washington, said in a statement.

“As they continue to grow older, start families, and face the limiting factors such as high housing prices and school quality, it will be critical to see whether the factors which enticed millennials to move to the urban core of the region are enough to retain them.”

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