Miami's Population is Losing Lots of "Hip," Young Folks

Categories: Recessionomics
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Is Miami "cool" enough to attract and retain young folks? According to a new analysis by a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, probably not. New data shows that the Miami area lost more residents aged 25 to 34 than most major American metro areas between 2008 and 2010.

"The new migration data show something else as well. To the extent they are moving at all, young adults are headed to metro areas which are known to have a certain vibe--college towns, high-tech centers, and so-called 'cool cities," writes William H. Frey.

Which explains why towns like Portland, Seattle, and Austin have seen increases in the younger population between the recession hit years of 2008 and 2010, even as migration overall has slowed.

Miami however has lost 5,724 of people in the same demographic in that same time. That's the fifth biggest loss of any metro area. Though, that loss has stymied a bit since 2005 to 2007. In that time frame Miami lost 15,204 25-34-year-olds, and was fourth overall. Though, part of that can be chalked up to the fact that the recessions means less young people are moving overall.

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However, no population loss is good loss. Today's young adults are tomorrow's business, cultural, and community leaders after all.

"But what are the qualities that make a city attractive to the young people in this survey?," asks Azure Gilman at Freakenomics. "The big (obvious) answer is jobs. But beyond that, perhaps affordable housing, a low cost of living, a transportation and bicycle infrastructure, an arts culture, and of course, the prospect of being around other young people."

Well, Miami certainly has one of the hottest growing art scenes in America, and other areas of culture continue to gain steam. But despite recent strides made in bicycle friendliness, our transportation system is a mess. There's still apartments with cheap rent to be found, but usually not in the nicest areas. Of course, jobs is probably the biggest culprit.

We highly doubt that young, educated types are going to flock to or stick around in Miami to take jobs at casinos. We also doubt plopping down a giant Walmart in Wynwood, still one of the hubs of youth culture in the city, is going to help much either.

What Miami needs to do, and frankly these are not new conclusions and yet some people always need to be reminded of them, is to continue to make this town a more livable place and attract industries that attract and retain the best, educated young workers with well-paying and satisfying jobs.

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Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

This is very understandable. For one, Miami is a terrible city that is not very friendly towards the young and educated population. Many young professionals are leaving Miami for several reasons, and it's not just because of the jobless rate and economy. It's the kids that leave the city and head off to college in another town/city and find a decent paying job there. They find more opportunities there and feel a since of inclusiveness that they wouldn't normally find in Miami. Many people do not understand that Miami has very little to offer for the younger crowd. What do I mean by this? Well, statistically speaking, younger people are more into "cooler" venues that offer different cultural amenities. Besides a pervasive Cuban culture, there is very little culture to be found in Miami. There are hardly any music "scenes" that you would normally find in most medium to large sized cities. There is very little variety in Miami to speak of. However, Miami does have the beach. Big whoop. So does LA and New Jersey. Oh yeah, and it's just too damn hot down there. I can't stand it being 75 degrees on Christmas day. There is nothing "cool" about Miami. No pun intended.

Corrupt Koobans
Corrupt Koobans

Unless you are a Cuban with no morals and you want to work for the County Miami sucks.

Miami can suck my balls
Miami can suck my balls

Miami is a piece of shit. The music scene is all crappy techno clubs that let in whores who drink for free. The people that actually want to live there have absolutely no intelligence and there are absolutely no cultural venues to attend. The Knight center is a big waste of money, because they bring low quality touring shows and most of the time the place is a ghost town. Good try Miami, you'll never be New York.

Bankrupt leadership
Bankrupt leadership

$1,500 one bedroom apartments and no jobs that pay a living wage.

Overpaid public sector "workers" suck the life out of the private sector.

Iknonumbers
Iknonumbers

we probably have more cool undocumented 18-34 year olds than any city in America, and new ones everyday, their data is skewed

GenY_Guy
GenY_Guy

Uh Miami sucks, and I can only get three flavors of coffee, and my ultimate frisbee league was disbanded, and like it's too hot to wear a scarf, but I can still rock my toms, and I can't find a satisfying high paying job even though I'm 23, brilliant, and I have a degree in classics from Bard, and like no one here understands that even though I hang out all day in Wynwood, I am really a social entrepreneur that wants to end poverty in East Africa, and the only cool band to play at Grand Central was Cut Copy but only poseurs went because I liked them before they even started as a band...

Miami is just so shallow.

Kyle is so right, he is too talented to live in this backwater town...

Fdgkjfjhfhg
Fdgkjfjhfhg

hahaha this rules. fuck the quitters. these stats surprise me as I have personally felt like in the past 2-3 years I've seen a huge surge in young people in Miami. they could and probably are off in my opinion.

Too much corruption
Too much corruption

Corruption is the cause. There is so much corruption throughout Miami and Miami-Dade County governments that it discourages new businesses from opening and the corruption encourages new young people to leave.

guest
guest

Miami is a dead end city. Its filled with 40 yr olds who think they're 25. It is dirty, there is trash everywhere, it smells like dog shit because people don't know how to be responsible in a dog friendly area, and there are only so many times you can go to the same club and listen to the same dj. West coast is the best coast..always.

elbastardo
elbastardo

The West Coast may be the best coast, but the East Coast is the BEAST COAST, niqqa!

philintheblank
philintheblank

This data has huge significance in terms of growth. Lets put this in perspective for a moment. Assuming that these young people are the ones to make change (they are obviously self-motivated and have vision to be making such life moves) the fact that they are leaving to places that offer more opportunity is huge. This fact alone predicts the shift of importance that cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles currently enjoy, to other cities like Denver, Portland and Seattle. 

If this data holds true, then we could very well see major cultural and technology destinations erupt from these migrant communities within the next 15 to 20 years.

elbastardo
elbastardo

The geezers up in the Brookings Institute apparently have never been to Miami, well maybe except to Sunny Isles Beach...

Euphorium
Euphorium

These stats are meaningless. Look at the top three or four "losers". The coolest cities on the planet. Let these hipsters move to Auburn, AL for all I care!

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