The rebirth of small communities

Photo: Kristina Blokhin –

A growing number of aging Millennials are discovering smaller communities as a place where they want to raise their families. Their motivation for moving to these less densely populated areas is to seek a better lifestyle for their new families in terms of safety, environment, and a sense of community. The latter is perhaps most important as aging Millennials are finding that though city life was a great experience when single or married without children, they want to provide a more subdued lifestyle for their family that has a greater sense of community.

The small communities that Millennial families are moving to are generally older, culturally rich, walkable, and in some sense, resemble a miniature city. They also boast a vibrant and dynamic downtown area, have an active, community-oriented citizenry, a well-regarded public-school system, extremely low crime rates, and a generally scenic environment. 


Roughly 40% of married Millennials living in NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco would prefer to live in a smaller community once they begin to raise a family.

Iceology Research Communities, January 2019


Helping propel aging Millennials’ migration to smaller towns is the fact that an increasing number of large and small companies are allowing their employees to work remotely from home. The benefit for employers is a happier and more content work force as they can reside in more affordable areas without the typical stresses that are associated with urban living. Much of the growth in this trend is occurring on the west coast and the northeast.   


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