Gothamist did a story titled, “Millennials are moving to Buffalo & Living Like Kings.”
In addition to profiles of young people who moved to Buffalo and love life, the article sites the following statistics to support its premise:
According to census data analyzed by the New York Times, from 2000 to 2012 the number of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 in Buffalo jumped 34%—more than Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago…
According to The Buffalo News, incomes in the Buffalo Niagara region grew about 1.5% a year (after inflation) between 2003 and 2013—double the average annual increase nationwide during that time. In 2003, per capita personal income in the region was 11% lower than the national average, but by the end of 2013, it was $44,301, just 1% less.
There are some problems with Gothamist’s analysis.
First, Gothamist defines Millennials as college graduates, when broader definition is 18 to 34-year-olds. The U.S. Census shows 27.5 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds in the Buffalo metro have college degrees. That’s slightly higher than Rochester (25.1 percent) and the United States (22.3 percent). The percentage of educated young adults has increased in Buffalo in past decades, but it has increased everywhere. Millennials are a more educated generation.
There’s little data to suggest there is an influx of young people moving to the Buffalo metro. According to the U.S. Census, proportion of Millennials has increased slightly from 20.9 percent of the population to 22.3 percent of the population. Buffalo Millennials make up less of the population than Rochester’s Millennials (22.8 percent) and United States Millennials (23.4 percent).
As for their standard of living, there’s nothing to suggest Buffalo’s Millennials are doing substantially better. Buffalo Millennials earned a median salary of $34,344 between 2009 and 2013. That’s below their earnings in 2000, but higher than the U.S. median ($33,883) and Rochester median ($33,329). Wages have been on a downward spiral for this age group and there’s been no uptick.
More Buffalo Millennials are living with their parents (34.7 percent) than in Rochester (29.1 percent) and the United States (30.3 percent). One in five Buffalo Millennials live in poverty, a rate on par with Rochester and the rest of the country.
Are more of Buffalo’s Millennials moving to the city proper? Yes, but that’s happening in many cities, as many Millennials prefer urban lifestyle. One report shows Buffalo saw a 38 percent increase of Millennials living close to downtown between 2000 and 2010. Rochester saw a 19 percent increase, but in sheer numbers, Rochester has more than double the Millennials living close to the city center.
Data aside, there’s nothing wrong with capturing a sentiment. Buffalo is certainly doing a good marketing itself as a Rust Belt City on the move. Perhaps Rochester, which seemingly has a similar story to tell, can learn something.
— Ra Cha Cha (@HeyRaChaCha) January 29, 2015
Links of the Day:
– Morelle is seen as more business friendly. He also received donations from the developer at the center of the Silver scandal.
– The fight over who will be the next Assembly Speaker ‘pits upstate and the suburbs versus the city, borough versus borough, and new members versus the old guard.”
– “There’s an old saying around here: ‘Upstate only succeeds when downstate is divided.'”