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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. Continue reading

Compare Young Adults Across the Decades with Census Explorer



They’re known as the Boomerang Generation because so many returned home to live with their parents. New data released by the U.S. Census shows today’s young adults are indeed more likely to be bunking with mom and dad. This generation may be less financially secure, but it’s also more educated.

The census has an interactive mapping tool to compare Millennials, considered to be between 18 and 34 years old, with previous generations. Rochester’s Millennials are similar to their counterparts across the country.

Here are the main takeaways:

1. A lot of Milleninals live with their parents. In Rochester, 29 percent of young adults are living with a parent, compared to 23 percent in 2000, 24 percent in 1990 and 23 percent in 1980. The national rate of young adults living with their parents is 30 percent.

2. Interestingly, the percentage of Millennials living alone has stayed steady over generations in Rochester – 8 percent.

3. Rochester’s Millennials are not as financially secure, with 21 percent living in poverty,. That comparedsto 15 percent in 2000, 12 percent in 1990 and 11 percent in 1980. The national Millennial poverty rate is 20 percent.

City of Rochester

Credit: City of Rochester

4. Far fewer Rochester Millennials are employed – only 67 percent. But that’s better than the national young adult employment of 65 percent. In 1990, 74 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds had jobs. In 2000, 72 percent were working.

5. Rochester’s Millennials are not getting hitched. Seventy-three percent have never been married. That compares to 66 percent nationwide. In 1980, more than half of 18 to 34-year-olds had tied the knot at least once.

6. There is no brain drain, as I have pointed out previously. The percentage of 18 to 34-year-olds in Rochester mirrors that of the country. What’s more, Rochester’s Millennials are more educated. Twenty-five percent have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 22 percent nationwide. This generation of Rochesterians has a higher rate of college degree attainment than previous ones.

7. Millennials are more diverse. Nearly one in four Rochester Millennial is non-white, compared to nearly one in 10 in 1980.

8. Millennials are still driving alone to work – 86 percent. But the rate dipped slightly from the 88 percent who drove alone to work in 1990 and 2000.

Read more about the data here.


Links of the Day:


– Cleveland police tactics violated rights of citizens, the Justice Department found.

– “I was told something as a new rookie officer: You’d rather be tried by 12 jurors than carried by six pallbearers.

– The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on NFL blackoutsand the Bills took center stage.

– When Larry Glazer died, the city pretended everything would go on as usual. That’s not going to happen.

– A New York appeals court ruled that chimps are not people.

– Research casts alarming light on decline of West Antarctic glaciers. Rising sea levels will impact coastlines.

Someone make these tired, worn-out lists stop.

Credit: City of Rochester

Credit: City of Rochester


We keep hearing Millennials want to live in cities. A report is out from City Observatory that lends some evidence.

The study, called “The Young and the Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” finds 25 to 34 year-olds with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly moving into city centers. They are playing a big role in revitalizing cities and their economies.

Let’s look at the numbers in Rochester.

Rochester saw a 9 percent increase in the number of 25 to 34 year olds with four-year degrees between 2000 and 2012 to 47,538. In 2000, 33 percent of 25 to 34 year olds had a bachelor’s degree. In 2012, 36.7 percent did.

Although this group is more educated, they still make up relatively the same portion of the population – 4.2 percent in 2000 and 4.5 percent in 2012. That suggests more young adults are not moving into the metro area, but it also suggests they’re not leaving.

The data shows Millennials are trending toward the city. In 2000, 9,668 25 to 34 year olds lived within three miles of downtown. In 2010, 11,552 did. That’s a 19 percent increase.

In summary, Rochester’s Millennials are more educated compared to the Gen Xers who came before them. They’re also living closer to downtown.

Buffalo is seeing similar trends, though the numbers there look more dramatic. That’s partly because Buffalo had far fewer educated young adults than Rochester in 2000. Now, Buffalo has more both in terms of numbers and percentages.


Links of the Day:


– A study says downtown Syracuse will keep adding residents.

– Despite loads of criticism, the New York Times endorses Cuomo for a second term.

Albany is getting red light cameras.

– Trump predicts Upstate casinos will “go down the tubes.”

– Students are being arrested in school for what used to be regular disciplinary infractions. Perhaps it’s time to rethink having police in schools. They don’t serve the principal; they serve the law. Are schools really safer with police.

– Man will go to prison for owning sexy cartoons of children. Cartoons…

– There’s a big increase in surgery to mend ‘flesh tunnel’ earlobes.

Young Renters


More than half of Rochester area Millennials who rent apartments could afford to be homeowners. That’s according to a study from Harvard University, which found 52 percent of people aged 25 to 34 could afford a mortgage.

The study found a big drop in home sales to first-time buyers in 2013. This is happening even though houses and mortgages in most cities are becoming more affordable.

What’s going on? The study notes that while a lot of young adults can afford a mortgage, it’s also true that a huge number cannot. Many are having trouble finding jobs and some are living with their parents. Access to credit could be also be tight.

“Aside from covering monthly homeowner costs, unemployment and income stagnation mean that even in the lowest-cost metros in this analysis, many potential buyers cannot afford at least $5,000 for a 5 percent downpayment,” the study notes.

One thing the study did not address is lifestyle choices. Surveys have shown Millennials want a more urban lifestyle. Many want flexibility to move. This has implications for the local housing market, which has seen a dip in home ownership rates, from 69.9 percent in 2006 to 66.9 percent in 2012.


Links of the Day:


– A reminder that Terry Pegula’s Bills bid is fueled by fracking.

– Even Buffalo radio stations refuse to play Bon Jovi.

– I don’t buy that the Rochester City School District has no schools on this list. Data must be fishy.

– “All 10 states with the largest percentages of uninsured adults now have Republican governors and legislatures.”

– The little discussed suicide problem at America’s firing ranges.

“You know what’s really dangerous to your child? Getting in a car.”

The epic fail of baby car seat design.

– The University of Michigan is building a fake city for driverless cars.