Saturday, October 31, 2015

Youth Movement

After moving to the region, I was often force fed the "fact" that Rochester lacked young people.  Despite seeing large numbers of young(ish) residents on a regular basis, I accepted the idea that Rochester was essentially one big nursing home.  Ultimately, I realized that my sources were pushing the same old lazy story about Rochester, i.e. the one that includes a shrinking metro area (false), ongoing private sector job loss (false), and a dying downtown (false).  And thus, as part of the difficult, underappreciated, and often ignored task of depicting the true Rochester, I was curious to ascertain just how old Rochester actually is:

  • From 2007-2013, the share of jobs in the Rochester metro area performed by those aged 22-34 increased from 24.7% to 26.5%.  That was one of the largest jumps in the country.
  • 2014 estimates show that roughly 28% of Monroe County's residents are millennials, outnumbering baby boomers who account for 26%.
  • As per The Rochesterian, from 2010-2012, 59.7% of people moving to the Rochester region were 18-34 years old.  (In other words, when looking at the people moving here, a lot of them are pretty young.)  That was the second highest percentage among large metro areas.  Of course, this number is bloated due to a high concentration of universities, and many may not stay due to a lack of job opportunities.  Which gets me to the last point...
  • If, just if, employment and entrepreneurial options can grow, Rochester will have amazing access to a surprising youth movement.

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