Denver, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. among the “Top 20 Millennial Boomtowns in America”


Denver was the No. 2 millennial boomtown in the nation, just behind San Francisco, due in large part to significant population growth as well as strong labor force participation and dropping unemployment rates. The millennial population in Denver surged 18.7% between 2011 and 2016, the largest percentage increase among the 50 metros, adding nearly 96,000 new millennial residents. Denver also had the second largest increase in labor force (27.9%) and the second sharpest drop in millennial unemployment (46.3%).



Dallas-Fort Worth earned the No. 10 spot in the U.S., thanks to a precipitous drop in unemployment rates and solid population growth and labor force participation. Millennial unemployment plummeted 42.3% in Dallas-Fort Worth, which was the eighth largest decrease in the nation. The millennial population in the Metroplex grew by 9.4% from 2011 to 2016, the 13th highest percentage growth in the country. However, when considering population growth by sheer numbers, the metro area landed in the top five with 127,500 millennials moving there.



Washington, D.C. was the No. 18 millennial boomtown in the country, garnering the sixth largest percentage increase in labor participation (21.7%) and eighth biggest growth in millennial population (11.8%). With nearly 139,000 millennials moving to our nation’s capital between 2011 and 2016, only three other metros had more, New York (249,850), Houston (155,350), and San Francisco (139,500). Washington, D.C. added more than 144,000 workers to the labor force, which was the fourth largest by total numbers, behind New York (378,150), Los Angeles (165,050), and San Francisco (145,050).


MagnifyMoney analyzed four data metrics (population, labor force, employment, and median wages) from the U.S. Census American Community Survey in the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. The analysis tracked the five-year change in each metric between 2011 and 2016 for millennials born between 1981 and 1991. Each metric was scored relative to the other metros so that the largest positive change received a score of 100 and any zero or negative changes received a score of zero (except for unemployment rate, where this was reversed). To calculate the final score, the four metric scores were summed and divided by four.