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Boston is the second most-millennial city

Politico took a look at the cities with the most millennials having the biggest impact, and Boston came in second behind San Francisco.
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A new report shows what cities millennials are moving to and impacting. Photo: iStock.

There’s a lot of research about the impact of millennials, from what industries they’re “killing” with their spending habits to what jobs they’re bolstering as they take over the workforce. But where exactly are all these millennials living, and what cities are they impacting most?

Though you may associate Brooklyn with young hipsters doing odd jobs, that’s not actually the top place, according to a new report from Politico.

Politico wanted to go beyond the too familiar millennial-focused “gimmicky pseudo-data about, say, avocado consumption,” and look into how this age group is impacting the country's urban centers. Their list of the most millennial cities gives a look at where these people are moving and what economic success they’re finding there.

San Francisco is number one on Politico’s most-millennial cities list, with 23 percent of the California city’s population made up of adults between the ages of 25 and 34.

Boston came in second and Washington rounded out the top three. New York City just missed the top 10, coming in at number 11 — though Jersey City landed high on the list at number 4 — and Philadelphia landed about halfway down the list at the 26th spot out of 50 cities.

Politico’s rankings took into account a few different factors. In comparing cities of more than 200,000 people, the report focused on the percentage of millennials within that population, their economic output, transportation and the recent arrival of millennials to that city from other areas.

In Boston, adults currently between 25 and 34 years old make up 23 percent of the population, and 15 percent of those millennials have moved to Boston within the last year.

Millennials in the Hub have a per-capita gross domestic product of $78,000, meaning their economic output into the city (this was below the San Francisco figure of $87,000) and have a median household income of $74,000 (again, below San Francisco, which saw a whopping median income of $120,000).

In New York City, adults 25 to 34 years old makeup just 18 percent of the population — with 8 percent having moved to the Big Apple in the last year — earn a median income of $67,000 and have an economic impact of $71,000.

Though some “already celebrated cites,” to use Politico’s words, like Boston, New York, Chicago and so on did appear on the list, this report also pointed to the rising appeal of places like Denver (number 6), Durham, North Carolina (number 12) and Richmond, Virginia (number 16) among others.

“Things like amenities, weather, liveliness, et cetera are important,” Robert Manduca, a Ph.D. student in sociology and social policy at Harvard, told Politico. “But other things are important as well—opportunities for meaningful career advancement, and even just familiarity with different parts of the country.”

The creation of this “most millennial cities list” is the start of a Politico reporting project that will take a deeper dive into how millennials are changing America. The news outlet said those stories will roll out over the next year.