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The Arlington Exodus: Plans to Convince Younger Gen. to Stay

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Over the past few years, Arlington, Virginia has risen as one of the best settings for Millennials to live in. Just this past March, personal finance website NerdWallet ranked Arlington as the second best city in the nation for recent graduates. All in all, it's a very young County with about 27 percent of the population being 25- to 34-year-olds. Since 2000, the median age in the County has dropped from 35.9 to 33.7, reported The Washington Post. Now that Millennials are growing older, starting families, and considering the purchase of their first home, almost all of them are planning on leaving. Last year, six in 10 Millennials in Arlington told the County's affordable-housing study group that it's somewhat likely or very likely that they will leave within a matter of five years. This isn't an unusual or new trend. According to The Washington Post, young adults have almost always moved into Arlington around the age of 20 and left around the age of 30. Now, it looks like the County is planning on figuring out how they can convince Millennials to stay rather than make their timely exit.

Despite the pluses of living in Arlington, Millennials believe that it's way too expensive to live in the area, according to a County-funded study that was released September 2014. One architect who was interviewed for the survey said, "The rent that I am paying now is almost equivalent to a mortgage." According to The Washington Post, one-quarter of the Millennials who rent in Arlington spend more than 35 percent of their income on housing. Housing prices aren't getting any lower. Since 2014, the median price of an Arlington condo, townhouse, or single-family home raised by 7.6 percent to $570,000. Because of these high costs, it causes Millennials to wait much longer before buying their first home, before marrying, and before childbearing.

To figure out how to convince Millennials to stay, County planners will start a study that will examine if the migration of 30-somethings will continue and what the factors are that cause younger generations to leave the area. Elizabeth Hardy, Arlington's planner and demographer, told The Washington Post, "Once we have an understanding of the factors that cause people to come or go, we could address how to keep them here."
· Millennials have transformed Arlington, but will they stay? [The Washington Post]
· All coverage on Millennials [Curbed DC]