Several million articles have been written about what is supposedly “wrong” with the Millennial Generation: how many things they have “ruined”, businesses that they have torpedoed, work habits they supposedly lack. But one thing that few, if any, of these articles explore is what this largest portion of the workforce actually wants from their day to day lives. The answer will sound similar to what older generations have striven for: meaningful jobs, good schools, and an affordable place to live. Increasingly, Millennials are finding all of these things in Wisconsin.
Madison was recently named the second most popular relocation destination for people aged 19 to 37 according to the National Association of Realtors. High wages, affordable housing, and good schools have attracted new residents at a pace not seen in years. “In comparison to other areas, Madison offers one of the highest wages for millennials,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement to Bloomberg. “This income level combined with the robust employment opportunities and the affordability, make Madison among one of the most appealing locations for millennials who are looking to stay longer and raise families.”
The state of Wisconsin is helping these new residents as well – and not just in Madison. Young families in places as far afield as Door County are going to be given a bit of a break in their childcare costs as a grant from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative was just approved. The state plans on applying for a $1 million grant to expand the program next year.
The Millennial Generation is moving back to once overlooked communities in cities and towns all across the Great Lakes region, creating a renaissance of sorts for these Rust Belt cities. Places like Buffalo, Toledo, and Grand Rapids, MI have seen increases in their populations due to the attractiveness of the communities and the good jobs available. The Millennial Generation is seeking the same thing that their parents did when they were looking for somewhere to start a family: a place to call home.