Chicago neighbourhood home to highest percentage of millennials in the US

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With constantly blamed for the death of things, it appears they’ve now decided to stick close together – and they’ve picked one US city to do so in.

According to new data, millennials – born between 1977 and 1996 – have picked the Windy City as their adopted hometown – making the West Loop area of Chicago the neighbourhood with the highest percentage of millennials in the country.

The data, collected by the US Census population and analysed by apartment search website RENTcafe.com to rank the zip codes with the largest millennial population in the 30 largest US cities, found that in the 60661 zip code, 73 per cent of residents are millennials or roughly 6,800 people.

Adjacent Chicago neighbourhoods have also seen a rise in residents from the generation – with larger areas such as Lakeview, Logan Square, Chicago Lawn and Lincoln Park all home to more than 30,000 millennials.

The appeal of Chicago and the West Loop in particular for the younger, money-conscious generation may be in part due to the city’s downtown vibe.

“There’s a lot of talk about how millennials tend to prefer the downtown areas, so we decided to look at the data on a more granular zip code level and see what neighbourhoods have the highest concentration,” Rentcafe senior writer and researcher Nadia Balint told the Chicago Tribune. “Not just in Chicago, but in many other large cities, and we tend to see the same type of neighbourhood where they like to live: downtown or very close to downtown.

“It’s not surprising because this is a generation that likes to be close to work, close to entertainment, shopping, dining.”

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Another draw is the sheer amount of things to do in the previously-industrial West Loop area – which boasts tons of art galleries and museums, bars, and new apartment buildings.

The city is also experiencing a thriving food culture, with “restaurant row” home to restaurants such as Roister, Au Cheval, Next and others – run by some of the country’s top chefs.

While the neighbourhood isn’t exactly cheap – the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in the West Loop is $2,084 a month – it is the place to be if you are a millennial.

“With the West Loop, there’s this perception of this excitement of what’s happening there and wanting to be a part of that,” said Debra Dobbs, a @properties real estate agent in the area.

Following behind the West Loop in Chicago are zip codes in Philadelphia, Manhattan, Boston, Washington DC, and Denver, all of which are in or near a “downtown.” 

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