Gen Zers are ‘increasingly drawn to simpler living.’ Here’s where they’re moving. – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Gen Zers are ‘increasingly drawn to simpler living.’ Here’s where they’re moving.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Adam Hester/Getty Images

Gen Z is looking beyond more crowded states for places where there’s elbow room and affordability.
Older generations aren’t selling homes, making it hard for Gen Z to get into more popular markets.
The younger generation is okay moving longer distances to find more comfortable living arrangements.

Gen Zers are looking to live in simpler, quiet locations in the Midwest or mountain regions. 

Emilia Mann, a senior analyst at StorageCafe, said that Gen Z doesn’t have the same location preferences as older generations.

“Gen Zers are increasingly drawn to simpler living in their housing choices,” Mann told Insider via email. “Unlike millennials, who often gravitate to DC, Washington, and Illinois, Gen Zers tend to favor states with lower population density, from the mountainous terrains of Montana and Idaho to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska.”

Of course, part of what’s driving Gen Zers to these states is the acceptance of remote work, more affordable homes, and the closeness to outdoor activities.

According to data from RentCafe, Gen Z homeowners totaled 2 million in 2022 while Gen X and millennial homeowners totaled 24.4 million and 18.2 million, respectively. 

Those older generations are holding onto their homes as interest rates stay high, leading Gen Zers to find new places to live due to the lack of supply and affordability, Doug Ressler, the business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, told Insider.

Because Gen Z can’t get into the housing market in popular cities — in both buying and renting — they’re casting a wider net in their home search, Ressler said.

“We see the Gen Zers be more movement oriented, especially in long distances,” Ressler said.

To determine the number of Gen Z movers, which it limited to those aged 18 to 23, StorageCafe analyzed 2021 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. It also used the Census data to determine the median value of owner-occupied housing. For rent values, it relied on data from Yardi Matrix.

These are the 10 states where Gen Zers are migrating to, according to StorageCafe, ranked by percentage of total newcomers who identify as members of that generation. 

10. Indiana
Madison, Indiana.

larrybraunphotography.com/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 13%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 109,271

Home value: $182,338

Average rent: $1,229

Unemployment rate: 3.2%

9. Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska.

Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 13%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 31,092

Home value: $202,183

Average rent: $1,206

Unemployment rate: 1.9%

8. Montana
Basin, Montana.

Finetooth/Wikimedia Commons

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 14%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 18,975

Home value: $319,228

Average rent: $1,578

Unemployment rate: 2.4%

7. Utah
Ogden, Utah.

mandicoleman.com/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 14%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 61,652

Home value: $420,639

Average rent: $1,618

Unemployment rate: 2.4%

6. Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin.

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 14%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 93,323

Home value: $230,209

Average rent: $1,459

Unemployment rate: 2.5%

5. Kansas
Overland Park, Kansas.

Shripad Josh/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 14%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 59,638

Home value: $185,298

Average rent: $1,165

Unemployment rate: 2.8%

4. Iowa
Holstein, Iowa.

larrybraunphotography.com/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 14%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 58,515

Home value: $176,095

Average rent: $1,164

Unemployment rate: 2.7%

3. Idaho
Boise, Idaho.

Darwin Fan/Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 15%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 41,351

Home value: $366,120

Average rent: $1,595

Unemployment rate: 2.7%

2. North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota.

Jacob Boomsma/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 15%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 19,555

Home value: $219,939

Average rent: $1,044

Unemployment rate: 2%

1. South Dakota
Deadwood, South Dakota.

Carolyn Hebbard/ Getty Images

Gen Z percentage of total move-ins: 16%

Number of Gen Zers who moved to the state in 2021: 20,703

Home value: $213,472

Average rent: $1,096

Unemployment rate: 1.8%

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