What Does Generation Z Think When They Move?

If you’ve ever pondered, “What comes after millennials”, the answer is Generation Z. Millennials have now been in the workforce for a few years, and a metonymic bird’s eye view of their habits as a group has been well-documented in the news. Many members of the next generation, Generation X, are about to enter college. We talked to many of them after they entered our scholarship contest to find out about their thoughts on our favorite subject - moving!


Where do Gen Z-ers Want To Move?



It’s long been theorized that young people flock to urban areas as soon as they have the means and independence to do so - but that may not be the case for Generation Z. 32.9% of Generation Z respondents to our survey picked the suburbs as the kind of neighborhood they’d like to move to, and 18.9% picked rural areas. Close to the top, 32.7% picked “Urban light” areas among our survey options, described in the survey as “not downtown, but still heavily populated”, like Brooklyn or the San Fernando Valley. Only 13.1% of respondents selected “urban dense” areas. Maybe Generation Z is searching for a more tranquil and quiet life than the young people before them.  


What States Do Gen Z-ers Like or Dislike?


Los Angelenos will love Gen Z-ers’ answers here: California is a plurality of Generation Z-er’s favorite state, with nearly 20% of all survey respondents picking the Golden State as their favorite state to live in. Warmer states had a strong showing overall, with Florida, Hawaii, Georgia, and Texas amongst the most popular states. The second most popular state is New York, at just over 10% of the votes, with many young people surely dreaming of New York City, and not say, Albany or Schenectady.  Among the least popular first choices are Nebraska (7 responses), Iowa (7 responses), Mississippi (8 responses), and Delaware (9 responses). Surprisingly, Alaska was the first choice of more than 1% of the 4,146 responses with 53 generation Z-ers picking it as their preferred US state.

Alaska earned the dubious honors of being our survey respondents’ most popular response state to avoid. 13.7% of the 4,146 respondents deemed it the state they’d never choose to live in. Surprisingly, California was the second most popular response to this question (with 262 responses/6.3%), despite being the most commonly picked “favorite” state. Following behind were New York, Florida, Texas and Alabama, the first three of which were also popular picks in our favorite poll. For some inexplicable reason, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and North Carolina were the least popular responses to this question with only 9 people avoiding Pennsylvania, 12 people fleeing Massachusetts, and 12 responders steering clear of the Tar Heel state. (Anyone who can inform us as to why that is, feel free.)


Around the World

We also asked our survey respondents, all based in the United States, which foreign country they’d like to move to. Italy (302) topped the list, with England (219), Canada (200), France (197), and Spain (184) just behind. (This was a typed response, so each of these countries likely had even more respondents who mispelled their name.)

What are Gen Z-ers Bringing With Them?

Millennials are often lamented for their dependence on /affinity to smartphones, and it seems Generation Z is not too different. We asked Gen Z which item they would take when they move if they could only take one. 626 of the 4,146 responses included the word “phone”. With how versatile phones are nowadays, this is certainly not surprising. Why pick a photo album, camera, encyclopedia, or a bible when a smartphone can act as all of them? 333 responses included the word “book”, and 165 included the word “bible”, so not everyone is going digital in this case.   

  • 195 had “camera” in their answer

  • “Laptop” (73) and “My Laptop” (58) were the two most common responses.

  • 323 had “laptop” in their answer

  • 282 had “photo” in their answer however some inclusion were because of “My phone because there are photos of my loved ones I can keep.


What do Gen Z-ers need where they stay?



We asked millennials to select three factors that are most important to them when they look for somewhere to live, and far and away the most popular response of our pre-picked options was “Proximity to Work/School” at 77.1%. Next most important was “crime rate”, with right around 50% of respondents making crime one of their top 3 factors. Neighbors (32.4%), Arts & Culture (32.2%) and a Nearby Grocery Store (29.1%) rounded out the top 5 most commonly considered factors. Nightlife, Coffee shops and Parks were among our pre-picked options as well, but were picked less often than the other options. Respondents were able to fill in a blank, where the most common responses were “Family”, “Church”, and “Proximity to Family.”


Methods of Commuting




When asked how they currently commute to school, 27% of our respondents responded “Walking”. Perhaps that explains why so many of them hope to be close to their school or work when moving to their next home. More than half (50.5% to be precise) primarily drive to school in their own car, with another fraction riding in a carpool.



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