Young Adults Prefer Density in Franklin County



I’ve seen several articles across the internet lately questioning the idea that young professionals and Millennials really prefer urban areas or not. I decided to see how this played out in Franklin County overall. I first looked at the total population aged 20-34 in the year 2000 and the year 2015 by Census Tract.
Here were the maps for those years.

After looking at the numbers for both years, I came up with this map for how that age group had changed in the 2000-2015 period.

Unfortunately, some tracts, particularly in the eastern suburban areas, did not exist in 2000, and so I was not able to figure out the change for them during the period. The rest of the map, however, shows that the strongest growth in this age group was not only inside 270, but closest to Downtown and central corridors along Broad and High Streets.
These maps don’t tell us about the relationship between those changes and the population density of the census tracts. So I went further and broke the tracts into increments of density to see where the strongest growth was occurring.

With a few exceptions, there appears to be a correlation between average 20-34 aged population growth and the density of the census tracts it occurs in. This suggests that this age group, at least in Franklin County, prefers areas with moderate to high density, which typically translates to urban living.

Young Professionals and the City: A Comparison Part 2



The first part of this comparison, seen here: seemed to be well-received, so I wanted to expand the examination of the 25-34 age group. In the first post, I just compared growth of this population by Columbus’ peers, but let’s take a closer look at this group through educational attainment. I will use the same 33 cities I used in the first post.

Educational Attainment 2014 Rank by City of Bachelors Degree or Higher within 25-34 Population
1. Chicago: 268,470
2. Austin: 97,721
3. Columbus: 75,305
4. San Jose: 68,392
5. Charlotte: 63,132
6. San Antonio: 62,572
7. Portland: 60,259
8. Minneapolis: 51,043
9. Indianapolis: 48,188
10. Pittsburgh: 35,860
11. Kansas City: 32,101
12. Madison: 30,039
13. Milwaukee: 29,661
14. Omaha: 28,984
15. St. Louis: 28,946
16. Sacramento: 27,304
17. Cincinnati: 25,496
18. St. Paul: 22,929
19. Virginia Beach: 22,134
20. Orlando: 20,181
21. Wichita: 19,659
22. Las Vegas: 17,817
23. Lincoln: 16,429
24. Grand Rapids: 15,724
25. Detroit: 14,285
26. Fort Wayne: 12,228
27. Cleveland: 12,013
28. Des Moines: 10,089
29. Providence: 10,432
30. Toledo: 8,514
31. Akron: 6,600
32. Dayton: 4,029
33. Youngstown: 1,084

Columbus has the 3rd highest total of 25-34 year olds with at least a bachelor’s degree, even compared to some cities with larger populations in the city or metro area. This is likely due to the high number of colleges and universities in the area, not least of which includes Ohio State.

2014 % of Total 25-34 Age Group with Bachelors or Higher
1. Madison: 67.0%
2. Pittsburgh: 57.4%
3. Minneapolis: 56.3%
4. Portland: 51.5%
5. Chicago: 51.1%
6. Austin: 48.9%
7. Cincinnati: 47.0%
8. St. Louis: 46.9%
9. Charlotte: 44.5%
10. San Jose: 44.5%
11. Columbus: 44.1%
12. St. Paul: 42.1%
13. Lincoln: 41.0%
14. Omaha: 40.8%
15. Grand Rapids: 40.5%
16. Kansas City: 40.5%
17. Orlando: 37.1%
18. Indianapolis: 34.3%
19. Wichita: 33.7%
20. Providence: 32.7%
21. Sacramento: 32.5%
22. Fort Wayne: 32.4%
23. Des Moines: 29.8%
24. Milwaukee: 29.6%
25. Virginia Beach: 29.3%
26. San Antonio: 27.6%
27. Akron: 23.4%
28. Cleveland: 21.4%
29. Las Vegas: 19.7%
30. Toledo: 19.5%
31. Dayton: 19.1%
32. Detroit: 15.9%
33. Youngstown: 12.8%

While just outside of the top 10 in the peer group, Columbus still performs in the top 1/3rd when it comes to the % of 25-34 year olds that have at least a bachelor’s degree.

2000-2014 Total Change in Age 25-34 with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
1. Chicago: +78,514
2. Austin: +38,348
3. Portland: +26,042
4. San Antonio: +23,504
5. Columbus: +21,601
6. Charlotte: +19,149
7. Pittsburgh: +19,060
8. Minneapolis: +15,629
9. St. Louis: +14,538
10. San Jose: +13,372
11. Sacramento: +11,530
12. Kansas City: +10,499
13. Madison: +8,774
14. Orlando: +8,600
15. Omaha: +8,521
16. Indianapolis: +8,369
17. Milwaukee: +7,031
18. Grand Rapids: +6,275
19. Wichita: +6,049
20. Fort Wayne: +5,350
21. Cincinnati: +5,083
22. Las Vegas: +4,433
23. St. Paul: +4,316
24. Virginia Beach: +4,167
25. Lincoln: +3,450
26. Providence: +2,488
27. Des Moines: +806
28. Dayton: +59
29. Youngstown: -108
30. Cleveland: -522
31. Akron: -628
32. Detroit: -1,471
33. Toledo: -1,639

Another great showing is in the total growth of 25-34 year olds with at least a bachelor’s degree. Again, Columbus is outperforming several larger cities/metros on the list.

2000-2014 Total % Change in Age 25-34 with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
1. Pittsburgh: +113.45%
2. St. Louis: +100.90%
3. Fort Wayne: +77.78%
4. Portland: +76.11%
5. Orlando: +74.26%
6. Sacramento: +73.09%
7. Grand Rapids: +66.41%
8. Austin: +64.59%
9. San Antonio: +60.16%
10. Kansas City: +48.60%
11. Wichita: +44.45%
12. Minneapolis: +44.13%
13. Charlotte: +43.54%
14. Omaha: +41.64%
15. Chicago: +41.33%
16. Madison: +41.26%
17. Columbus: +40.22%
18. Las Vegas: +33.12%
19. Providence: +31.32%
20. Milwaukee: +31.07%
21. Lincoln: +26.58%
22. Cincinnati: +24.90%
23. San Jose: +24.30%
24. St. Paul: +23.19%
25. Virginia Beach: +23.19%
26. Indianapolis: +21.02%
27. Des Moines: +8.68%
28. Dayton: +1.49%
29. Cleveland: -4.16%
30. Akron: -8.69%
31. Youngstown: -9.06%
32. Detroit: -9.34%
33. Toledo: -16.14%

So in Part 1, it was shown that Columbus had one of the fastest growing 25-34 populations. These numbers show that it also has one of the largest age 25-34 populations with a Bachelor’s degree or higher in terms of totals, and one of the fastest growing in terms of totals. By %, however, it performs a bit worse, but part of the reason for that is because so many of these cities started with relatively low educated populations to begin with. Overall, Columbus seems to be very attractive, not only to this age group, but also for those within the group that are highly educated.