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Join the discussion: Boston thrives off the dreams of young people. But can they make it here?

Ryan Huddle

Young people define Boston.

Twenty-somethings comprise a fifth of the city’s population — more than any major US city — and fuel its economy. They work, dine, and drink here. They dream.

In 2018, I moved to Boston with that typical ambition and came of age in the years that followed. I earned my first paycheck, signed my first lease, and ordered my first cocktail, a stiff rum and coke at the Tam. I lounged on the rooftop of a friend’s Beacon Hill apartment and took in the enormity of the city from Piers Park, peering at the skyline from across the harbor.


But soon after college, when I decided to build my life along the Blue Line with an apartment in Eastie and a job downtown, I looked around and felt like every young person I knew was trying to leave Boston — if they hadn’t already. And I wondered, what is driving people away?

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Diti Kohli can be reached at her @ditikohli_.