Forget the twinkle of big city lights — Gen Zers are moving to a home on the range.
In 2021, Gen Z made up the biggest percentages of people moving to South Dakota (16%), North Dakota (15%), Idaho (15%), Iowa (14%) and Kansas (14%), whether it be to rent or buy, according to StorageCafe data obtained by Insider.
When looking to settle down and buy a home, the generation of young adults (average age 22) was most interested in taking out a mortgage in Salt Lake City (22.59%), followed by Oklahoma City (22.36%) and Birmingham, Alabama (20.79%), LendingTree reported.
“Gen Zers are increasingly drawn to simpler living in their housing choices,” Emilia Mann, a senior analyst at StorageCafe, told Insider.
“Unlike millennials, who often gravitate to DC, Washington [state] and Illinois, Gen Zers tend to favor states with lower population density, from the mountainous terrains of Montana and Idaho to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska.”
Looking at absolute numbers, StorageCafe found that the three states with the largest total populations saw the most Gen Z newcomers, including Texas (360,374), California (256,587) and Florida (175,889), and the Great Plains and Mountain West regions saw a bigger percentage of the young new residents.
“While the numbers might be smaller in less-populated states, the proportion of Gen Z newcomers from the total incoming population is significant,” Mann explained to the Daily Mail.
“Apart from the natural beauty, [the Great Plains and Mountain West regions] also have strong economies anchored in energy production, manufacturing and technology,” she added.
Mann noted that, in addition to those regions, Gen Zers are also “gravitating towards Southern states, drawn by affordable homes, promising job opportunities and active lifestyles.”
Meanwhile, they had the least amount of interest in buying a home in San Francisco, New York and San Jose, California, according to LendingTree.
“The increased inclination toward remote work has become a significant factor in shaping current housing preferences,” Doug Ressler, business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, said to StorageCafe.
“For those spending more time at home, amenities such as a dedicated home office and a larger yard are increasingly desirable, which oftentimes means relocating farther away from busy urban hotspots.”
While some Gen Zers are moving out West, many young adults are still living at home.
A recent Pew Research Center study found that one-quarter of U.S. adults ages 25 to 34 were living in a multigenerational family household in 2021. But by comparison, in 1971, just 9% of adults of the same age were living in a multigenerational home, while in 2011, roughly 20% were.
“I’m just trying to save up more money so that I can be comfortable when I move out and fully support myself like 100%,” Nada Torbica, a 22-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., told The Post last year.