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California’s millennials coming to Nevada in droves, study says

Updated October 13, 2023 - 1:08 pm

California’s millennials are “flocking” to Nevada, according to a new study.

Nevada has the nation’s sixth-highest rate of net migration — the difference between the number of new residents and the number of people leaving — with over 14 newcomers for every 1,000 residents, according to a StorageCafe study that combines data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The largest percentage of new residents are millennials from California.

“The average household that exchanged California for Nevada was made up of four people,” the report said, “and they got significantly cheaper homes as a median home in Nevada is 42 percent less expensive than one in California.”

Interstate migration across the United States has steadily increased since 2019 and took off in 2021, when approximately 60,000 Californians moved to Nevada. A recent summit in Summerlin also highlighted interest in Las Vegas within a specific demographic: tech billionaires and millionaires. A Redfin report found that approximately 5,000 Los Angeles residents moved to Las Vegas in August alone, signaling an ongoing trend of economic migrants seeking out a lower cost of living via taxes and housing.

These trends may be contributing to a rise in the cost of living within Las Vegas, as another report found that local millennials are getting priced out of the housing market at a high rate.

“Millennials are the largest group of people relocating to Nevada from four of the top five originating states: California, Arizona, Colorado and Utah,” the StorageCafe report stated. “State-to-state migration has taken off. In fact, both 2021 and 2022 witnessed increased interstate moving activity compared to the rest of the decade. Roughly 7.9 million people jumped on the bandwagon to move to another state in 2021, and 2022 set a record with 8.2 million interstate movers.”

Generation Xers are also coming to Nevada from Washington in high numbers, as more than half of the new arrivals from that state are in the 40-55 age bracket.

“Moreover, a significant portion of these newcomers are remote workers, accounting for approximately 16 percent of the people who traded the evergreens of Washington for the sagebrush of Nevada,” the report stated.

Emily Skop, a professor of geography and environmental studies at the University of Colorado who was quoted in the study, said for years domestic migration patterns have been fairly predictable, up until the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are many unknowns, certain housing markets will become even more expensive, labor markets will continually shift as a result of global uncertainties, water resources will become more restricted, human-caused natural disasters will become more frequent, and families will experience aging in a way never known before,” Skop said. “So, we need to keep our eyes on the data, and for that matter, figure out better ways to capture migration trends so we can get a more accurate picture in the coming years.”

Idaho ranked first in terms of net migration per capita for new residents from out of state, followed by Vermont, Montana, South Carolina and Maine.

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com.

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