As millennials grow up, many members of the generation born from about the 1980s to the late 1990s expect to leave D.C. to start families.
A new study by American University’s Kogod School of Business finds that many millennials enjoy living and working in D.C. but do not expect to be able to stay.
Half of all millennials are likely to move to more affordable areas with faster commutes, the study said. The report, called the Greater Washington Millennial Index, found 2016 was the first year more millennials left than moved to the area.
Limited access to housing, heavy traffic and crime are big concerns for millennials as they build their careers and consider settling down.
The study also found job availability is what millennials care about the most when looking for a place to live.
The index was created based on survey responses from 502 adults, ages 21 to 35, of the greater Washington area. Prisma Research conducted the online survey in fall 2017 through computers, tablets and cellphones.
Though millennials are often accused of being lazy, they are career driven, the report said. Thirty-eight percent of millennials surveyed said “getting ahead in my career” was either first or second on their list of goals for the short-term future.
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Respondents said incentives to stay in D.C. include better educational opportunities for their children, higher salaries, higher job satisfaction and the ability to work from home.
Even so, D.C. is still the second-most attractive city behind San Francisco, despite the Bay City having the highest housing costs in the country.