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Boston has more millennials than other large cities, study finds


Boston truly is the “City of Millennials,” in case the massive influx of college students every September leaves any doubt. That’s the conclusion of an aptly named study published Wednesday by The Boston Foundation.

Among the key findings: Boston has the highest concentration of millennials in the country, the population is better educated and more diverse than prior generations, and their biggest challenges are finding affordable housing and economic mobility, according to the report.

The findings rely on census data and a survey of 308 millennials, ages 18 to 37, conducted by Boston Indicators, the foundation’s research arm, and City Awake, part of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.


More than one-third — 34 percent — of the city’s population is between 20 and 34 years old, a ratio that runs much higher than the 21 percent nationwide, the report found. Young adults are most prevalent in the Fenway-Kenmore (82 percent) and Allston-Brighton (65 percent) neighborhoods.

And millenials in Greater Boston are more diverse than ever: Forty-three percent of millennials are non-white or Hispanic-white.

They’re also pretty sharp.

As of 2014, 45 percent of those 25 or older held bachelor’s degrees, the fourth-highest percentage in the country behind only Washington, D.C., San Jose, and San Francisco.

“Considering their relative prominence, Greater Boston’s future depends in no small part on ensuring that millennials have the opportunity to reach their full potential while contributing to our communities and economy over the long term,” the report said.

Despite their advantages, their prospects are somewhat dimmer, the report found. Whereas 92 percent of children were expected to make more money than their parents in 1940, that number declined to just 50 percent in 1980.

“Millennials must contend with an increasingly expensive local housing market in which half of renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing,” the report said. “Additionally, they must navigate a national economy that does not support upward mobility as well as it did in decades past.”


Dylan McGuinness can be reached at dylan.mcguinness@globe.com.