Broker Check

Are Baby Boomers Flocking To Big Cities?

February 25, 2020

A quick look at some federal government statistics provides a quick answer: no. Perhaps it seems like big cities are filled with baby boomers because of the simple fact that this demographic group is larger than others. Research does not back up this assumption, however. As a recent New York Times analysis of Census Bureau data noted, 17.2% of Americans aged 54-72 lived in urban areas in 2018; back in 1990, 21.6% did. This percentage declined gradually, but steadily, over these 28 years, and looking more closely at the decline, the 54- to 72-year-olds of 2018 were 11% less likely to live in urban neighborhoods than the 54- to 72-year-olds of 2000.

As other Census Bureau data from 1990-2018 reveals, the Americans most likely to live in urban settings have been those aged 25 to 29. The least likely? Those aged 70 to 74. The odds of urban living start to increase again after age 80. Even so, just two years ago, only 19.8% of Americans aged 85 or older lived in urban settings.3