The Millennial Metric

Where Will The Most Misunderstood Generation Migrate?

‘The Millennial Metric’, a seminal study exploring the future of North American cities by forecasting where the millennial generation will live and why.

Millennials have proven themselves to be a resilient generation, struggling to make the best choices for themselves and their families within the constraints forced upon them. In the wake of COVID-19, they are being tested like never before.

The Millennial Metric’ aims to decode some of these choices into their constituent variables so that readers of this report — public officials, policymakers, private actors, housing advocates, real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, and millennials themselves — might imagine a different America, one more responsive to their needs.

We summarize current trends, explode myths about lifestyle preferences, and explore opportunities for policymakers to address severe deficits in housing, childcare, and transportation.

With the millennial generation representing 75 million people in the US alone, what impact could this trend have on the future of cities?

Led by NewCities Director of Applied Research Greg Lindsay and the global real estate markets research team at Ivanhoé Cambridge, the team focused on two pillars: metros and neighborhoods.

The first piece explores which major metros they are most likely to choose in the 2020s (excluding additional pandemics). In assembling and weighting the correct variables, the Ivanhoé Cambridge team chose four categories with particular valence: Affordability, Employment, Accessibility, Lifestyle.

For the second piece of the metric, the Ivanhoé Cambridge team narrowed their focus to five popular millennial destinations they identified as representative: Nashville; Dallas-Fort Worth; Denver; Columbus, Ohio, and Washington D.C.


Policy Recommendations:

  • 1. Expand and Protect Housing Supply
  • 2. Legalize Multi-Family Zoning
  • 3. Eliminate Parking Minimums
  • 4. Reinvest in Public Transit
  • 5. Provide Universal Child Care
  • 6. Provide Student Debt Relief
  • 7. Reimagine Parks as Urban Infrastructure
  • 8. Assist and Promote Urban Schools

Read the report


If you’d like to reach out to the team regarding a research proposal: