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This week’s latest population data from the U.S. Census shows the number of people moving out of Monroe County is alarming. Their flight is barely made up by new births and immigrants.

Another census report shows some encouraging news – at first glance. This one focuses on the migration patterns of young adults, people ages 18 to 34, the so-called Millennials. The report finds Millennials with college degrees are most likely to move to another community. Young adults are more mobile than other age groups, presumably because they move to new places for college and career.

Here’s the shocker in the report.

Rochester is among the top three metros for young adults to move into. Yes, you read that right. Take a look at the chart below. It says nearly 60 percent of people who moved into the Rochester metro between 2010 and 2012 were between the ages of 18 and 34.


U.S. Census

U.S. Census, 18-34-year-olds


Another chart below breaks out 18 to 24-year-olds. They make up more than a third of the in-movers to Rochester. Again, Rochester ranks among the top-three.


U.S. Census, 18 to 24-year-olds

U.S. Census, 18 to 24-year-olds


Wow! Tons of young people are moving into Rochester! That’s amazing!

But wait. Here’s where things fall apart. Rochester is near the bottom in the country when it comes to 30 to 34-year-olds moving in. They make up only 7.6 percent of those coming to town.


U.S. Census, 30 to 24-year-olds

U.S. Census, 30 to 24-year-olds


What does this tell us? There’s not a lot of opportunity here for established adults. That’s why we’re seeing big domestic out-migration numbers. Since 2010, more than 13,000 people have packed up and left Monroe County.

The dramatic increase we’re seeing in young in-movers is because of our colleges. Then, these students leave. However, we shouldn’t necessarily view this as a “brain drain.” That’s because data shows the percentage of 18 to 34-year-olds in Rochester has remained steady over time. The goal shouldn’t be to keep all students in Rochester. That’s not realistic or sustainable.

The goal should be to attract established young adults from other communities, people who have graduated from college and find opportunity in Rochester. This comes down to jobs. We can do way, way better.

That’s our challenge.




Links of the Day:


– Monroe County schools have been shorted $443 million by the state.

– Rochester is cracking down on neighborhood bars, wanting them to close well before 2 a.m. But the state told the city it can’t do that.

– This is why SWAT-style drug raids have major issues.

– I actually have sympathy for this school principal, who got a DWI after a couple glasses of wine. (She’s a small woman.)

– This poor kid’s life is ruined for bringing a fake marijuana leaf to school.


Tweet of the Day:


4 Responses to Movin’ On In

  1. One problem with data is that unless you get it ALL, you can interpret it in any number of ways. Also, what are you trying to prove or disprove? What is your agenda or purpose? In this article, are we trying to judge the health of the community in terms of quality of life? During my lifetime, all in Rochester, we had a STRONG job market with Kodak, Xerox, B&L, etc. We still had issues with ghettos, concentrated poverty, and city schools. This was in the 60’s! Now, we do not have those large employers, but we now have higher education and medical as our major employers. Guess what, we still have issues with ghettos, poverty, and city schools. This is 50 years later! How does this data explain this? It doesn’t!!! I forgot to mention the other major source of jobs…….SOCIAL SERVICES and NON-PROFITS. They are dependent on ghettos, concentrated poverty and city schools. Don’t expect any changes. Only an idiot would ignore the data! LOL

  2. ” During my lifetime, all in Rochester, we had a STRONG job market with Kodak, Xerox, B&L, etc , Now, we do not have those large employers, but we now have higher education and medical as our major employers. .” – This is an example of someone that doesn’t realize the world has changed. You don’t need a huge workforce anymore because a lot of those skills can be automated with robotics, this is a nationwide trend.

    Rochester has developed strength in Technology and the Arts because of it’s heritage in imaging. That’s where we have the upper hand to other cities across the nation, and where we should focus our economic development dollars and efforts.

    • March 31, 2015 at 4:26 pm Orielly responds:

      Really robotics is the end all, the solution?
      Robotics reduces some manufacturing processes true. But who programs and maintains the robots? Who designs the production lines etc where the robots can be used?
      Do robots do the selling, the accounting, the marketing, the product design, the market research, the IT support, the general technology research, the entire fiance or legal piece? There is a lot more to company besides production; where Robots do “some” of the work.
      Rochester has lost much in these “other areas” of a company as well, due to Senior Management who has outsourced or “right shored” these jobs to improve the bottom line to, increase financial results, to make more money for the CEO. Unlike their predecessors who valued this community, the last two or three generations of leadership of the major area companies thought little of keeping a local workforce, and had no problem moving jobs out of Roch or the USA. Xerox has a large work force today, just not so big here. The same is true for B&L and Kodak.

      “Our” economic development dollars should be use to support those technology solutions “invented” at local universities with the best prospect of “making it big” . This should only be done with guarantees that these companies will then stay, grow and support Rochester. The current “team” entrusted to make these decisions from a public sector economic development group, are first and foremost politicians or academicians, with little experience in the high tech business world. Oh we have the intellectual talent in Roch to make these visionary decisions, we just don’t have those types on the economic team. And local media and most on the economic council don’t know who they are. And the team judging this all from the STATE – what area, has the best plan, are also lacking in major business experience.
      Thus expecting the public sector to make our economy grow is a bad bet. It grew before thanks to individual risk takers and visionaries that ROCH has been blessed to have many over the years. But in today’s business climate, the likes of a modern day Eastman, Baush and Lomb or WIlson, would likely, and rightly so, decide to start their business elsewhere.in some other state thanks to our spiral of high taxes, that makes leaving this state desirable, therefore increasing the tax burden for those left behind. And then we applaud the expansion of our local Univestities, whose expansion takes more property off the tax rolls while they pay no tax.

  3. Headline in D+C: “Growing recovery misses Rochester area.” To piggyback on the article written a few months ago about whether Buffalo is so “hot,” the short answer is: “Yep.” Because they are growing and we are stagnating. Because they have an economy and we don’t. Because sustainable businesses that pay better wages are moving there, not here. The mayor and “business” “leaders” love to tout Costco coming in to Rochester. A handful of $10 an hour cashier jobs isn’t going to be a “game changer” for the Rochester economy. It’s a drop of water in a very deep bucket. Many people on Rochester forums complain about all the negativity and cynicism here. Well there’s a darn good reason for it. Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on failed projects. Millions more disappearing into the pockets of no-bid developers and cronies. Inner ring suburbs like Greece and Irondequoit that look more and more like a dump by the day. Divided government. Divided county. Highest child poverty rate in the Northeast. Highest rate of violent crime per capita in the state. Highest rate of high school drop out in the state. The list can go on and on. The good can not outweigh the bad. Young families can afford a home here compared to a place like Boston or NYC but why stay to pay more taxes to line the politicians’ pockets? To have a devalued primary education? To go to a museum of “play”? There are museums, orchestras, theatres in every mid size city in the nation. What you have here is no different than what Providence has, or Charleston or Alexandria, Virginia. Or Buffalo for that matter. Get over it. Rochester is not as hot as you all think it is. We are not growing. We are stagnating. And sadly it won’t end any time soon.

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