Portland 6th most popular destination for young, college educated
That is according to a new report, titled “Talent on the Move,” released Wednesday by researchers at Portland State University who found that Portland ranked No. 6 out of the top 10 destination cities for people between 25 and 39 with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Ahead of Stumptown on the list were Houston, which ranked No. 1, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco-Oakland and Atlanta. Rounding out the top 10 below Portland were San Jose, Denver-Boulder, Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth.
But the surprising bit of the report, said professor Greg Schrock, one of the report’s authors, was not where young, college-educated people were moving, but the rate at which they were doing so.
“We were surprised by the degree at which overall migration had increased since the recession,” he told The Oregonian/OregonLive by phone Tuesday.
Between 2008-2010, the height of the Great Recession, the net number of college-educated young adults who moved to the largest 50 metro areas in the U.S. was roughly 225,000. Between 2012 and 2014, the most recent period for which data is available, that number jumped to 315,000, Schrock said.
Schrock said that there was “pent-up demand” from young people who wanted to move during the recession, but either couldn’t afford it or chose not to.
“While the economic uncertainty of the Great Recession was a significant obstacle to migration for many,” Schrock said in a statement. “For the young and college-educated, economic opportunity and quality of life serve as an unmistakable draw to the nation’s largest metro areas — one that undoubtedly benefits those regions economically.”
Lower unemployment rates and wage growth were strong drivers of migration, said professor Jason Jurjevich, a co-author on the project, but their research also pointed to public transit, artistic and cultural opportunities and the political climate as magnets for young migrants.
People seeking those benefits — as anyone who’s gone house hunting in Portland recently will tell you — are willing to pay higher rents to find them.
Shrock said he and Jurjevich, with the help of doctoral student Jihye Kang, plan to release more Portland-specific research later this summer.