Finding the Next Nashville: Migration of the Young, Educated Workforce

 In Research

By Luis Quintero and Mac McComas | Research sponsored by Alex. Brown Realty, Inc.

Young, college educated workers are among the most highly mobile demographic in the United States and are crucial to a city’s success as firms in high-skill industries will seek them out and want to locate in cities with large numbers of these workers. As we highlighted in our first report, the Nashville metropolitan area experienced the fifth largest growth of young, college educated workers between 2010 and 2019 while also experiencing some of the fastest population and job growth in the nation.

In this report, we will look at the geography of where young and college educated workers make up the largest share of adults in U.S. metropolitan areas in 2019, and examine how that has changed since 2010. Did metro areas that already had large numbers of young, educated people gain the most? Or were there new cities that attracted young, educated people? We will explore the role that colleges and universities have in attracting young, educated workers in cities. Which universities are the best at retaining students in their city after graduation? We will also examine the role of productivity and consumer activities in cities. Are young, college educated people moving to the most productive cities? Are they moving to big cities or small cities? Or are consumption activities and quality of life drawing young, educated people? Finally, we will explore how the rise of telecommuting and work from home brought on by the COVID-19
pandemic might impact the location decisions of young, educated workers.

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