December 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey continues to suffer long term brain drain . Millennials it seems can’t get out of New Jersey fast enough. From 2000 to 2013, the number of 22-to-34-year-olds living in New Jersey fell by 2.3 percent, according to Census data, even while the number of people in this age bracket increased by 6.8 percent nationally during the same timeframe. According to a calculation by Governing using Census estimates, New Jersey now ranks 47th out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., for its percentage of Millennials in 2012.

Why do so many young people flee the Garden State? The smart-growth nonprofit New Jersey Future considered this demographic trend in a report released in September. The report measured New Jersey’s municipalities on three smart growth metrics: walkability and street connectivity; the presence of a mixed-use center; and net activity density (defined as population plus employment, divided by developed square miles).

Unsurprisingly, New Jersey’s Millennials are just like Millennials everywhere else: They gravitate toward dense, mixed-use, walkable areas. Across the 118 places that scored well on all three smart-growth metrics, Millennials are 25 percent more prevalent than they are statewide. Conversely, they are 19 percent less likely than the general New Jersey population to live in the places that scored badly on all three metrics.

S it appears the lack of Millennial-friendly environments. Of the state’s 565 municipalities, only 183 scored well on two or all three smart-growth metrics, and according to the study, only 111 of those places are popular with Millennials. This imbalance may increase competition for housing in those high-scoring municipalities, pushing rent prices higher and Millennials out of those neighborhoods where they want to live most.

There are a number of other indicators that New Jersey’s Millennials are struggling with as well and like other generations its finding affordable housing . 47 percent of Millennials now live with their parents. Giving New Jersey the highest rate in the country of 18-to-34-year-olds living with their parents. Nationally, the number is just 33 percent, and in nearby Pennsylvania, it’s 37 percent.