Millennials Flocking to Pittsburgh and St. Louis

St. Louis references in the news. Oh yeah, don't forget our favorite "Top Lists."
Business Insider: The Nation's Most Coveted Demographic Has Been Flocking To Pittsburgh (and St. Louis)

An excerpt

Here it shows that seven of the top ten Midwest metros are growing that critical demographic at rates higher than the national average, and well above that for the Midwest region. In fact, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are showing accelerated growth among young adults despite having an overall slow-growth environment, and Minneapolis/St. Paul shows even stronger young adult growth in a relatively strong growth environment. Cleveland is growing its young adult population despite decreasing overall. Only Indianapolis, Columbus and Detroit fail to meet the national average, with only Detroit losing young adults faster than it's losing population overall. How does this look in a chart?


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Truth be told, if Pittsburgh wasn't lumped in with the Midwest because it's such a borderline regional city, St. Louis would lead Midwest cities.
Well it's in the Northeast so it doesn't really count. Then again, they are in the NL Central...
Pittsburgh is a heck of a stretch for the Midwest. I have doubts when people lump in Michigan and Ohio. But then the far western limits of the United States were Illinois once.

Good news though. The health of a city needs her young and young families to put down roots.
I think of Pittsburgh and Buffalo as being Midwestern. They're certainly rust-belt, and not really colonial in any way.
I was just there yesterday for the first time. Downtown is busy, and apartment rents are about $0.25-$0.50 more per square foot than here in Downtown.
wabash wrote:
I think of Pittsburgh and Buffalo as being Midwestern. They're certainly rust-belt, and not really colonial in any way.


Well if rust-belt is synonymous with Midwestern wouldn't we have to start calling Scranton and Allentown, PA Midwestern?

Those cities are only a couple of hours outside of NYC!

I draw the eastern line of the Midwest at Ohio.
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This is the Midwest. Pennsylvania isn't part of it.
I would throw out Indiana Ohio and Michigan theres nothing mid or west about any of them in fact there needs to be now country geography .. reorganizing of all portions of our country .. The New Midwest would be Missouri Iowa Nebraska North Dakota Kansas Minnesota South Dakota. Anything West of the Mississippi ..the new region would be called the MidEast.. Illinois Michigan Indiana Wisconsin Ohio Kentucky West Virginia just my thought
If St. Louis is the Gateway to the West, then Pittsburgh is the Gateway to the East. While it does share a lot of similarities to St. Louis and other cities, there are distinct characteristics that remind you it is not plainly Midwestern. A few examples: 1) People walk more in Pittsburgh. Its neighborhoods are dense and compact, and the city has many walkable business districts (not just a few select trendy streets full of bars and restaurants), but regular, cohesive business districts with basic amenities that have largely disappeared in most Midwestern cities. I have also noticed that pedestrians in Pittsburgh make less eye contact than in other Midwestern cities. 2) Taking the bus does not have the same stigma in Pittsburgh as it does in say, St. Louis or Cleveland. It's very common to see little old ladies, college students and businesspeople waiting for the bus in Pittsburgh as a practical way to get around. 3) Topography. The hills, rivers and bridges distinguish Pittsburgh from other Midwestern cities and give it a unique feel. Maybe it's not "East Coast" but I'd call it Appalacian over Midwestern. 4) The accents. If you've talked to a native Pittsburgher, you know that they don't speak English. It's the weirdest hybrid dialect of Eastern and Appalacian you'll ever hear (although Baltimore accents are almost as weird and equally unique). But no one would ever guess that a Pittsburgh accent is Midwestern in any way.

I absolutely love Pittsburgh-- it's definitely one of my top 5 favorite cities in the country. I am not at all surprised that the secret is out about that city. It's beautiful, cultured, historic, charming, walkable, gritty, friendly, relatively safe (compared to other rust belt cities) and ideally located between the great cities of the East Coast and Great Lakes/Midwest. After all, it is the setting for Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and you definitely get a sense of that coziness when you're in the city.
^ Agree on Pittsburgh..... Actually I think Pittsburgh. Western PA and Cleveland/NE Ohio are in a transitional sub- part of America.

^^ Indiana and Ohio would be shocked to hear they aren't part of the Midwest. To me, the Midwest to a great extent is marked by its agricultural products and rural landscapes; although it has some variation, it generally is defined by row crop production like corn and soybeans as well as dairy while having generally flat topography or gentle rolling hills. Other features include

-- lack of accent as mentioned by stlgasm
-- cities generally are historically industrial in nature
-- states have a strong land grant university

So to me, the Midwest begins somewhere around Cleveland and excludes Appalachians/Ozarks and The Great Plains. (I also believe the South begins somewhere between South County Mall and Festus.)
Interesting observations about Pittsburgh. I've never been there but would like to. I can't help but read your points and think that Cincinnati is then a hybrid of STL and Pittsburgh in character and location.

Perhaps question belongs in urban theory thread: In terms of the our nation's westward urban development, Chicago obviously has contemporary prime examples of characteristics that by your criteria above classify as "eastern." Why did they persist there but not anywhere else? Many midwestern cities had those dense, walkable, compact neighborhoods but abandoned them. Does that trend necessarily typify a loss of eastern mentality or just highlight opportunities that are not there in the east?
Recalling a class I had in college (IIRC) the term 'Midwest' was coined in the early 1800s in reference to Ohio. Midwest originally was a vertical description. Northwest. Southwest. Midwest. (That's why we don't know what/where the Midwest is. And technically by that description, Denver and SF are Midwest)

From a early 19th century perspective NY/DC perspective, Michigan was the Northwest, Ohio the Midwest and Kentucky, Tennessee the southwest.

All that dweebishness aside, Ohio is definitely Midwest.
blzhrpmd2 wrote:
Interesting observations about Pittsburgh. I've never been there but would like to. I can't help but read your points and think that Cincinnati is then a hybrid of STL and Pittsburgh in character and location.


Good observation on Cincy.... Cincy and Pitt share the hillier Ohio RIver Valley topography but Saint Louis and Cincy share a common history of high German immigration in the 1800s while Pittsburgh and Cleveland shared a later high Eastern European immigration... all industrial cities that have a lot of similarities but which the different ethnic enclaves and topography helped shape uniqueness.


blzhrpmd2 wrote:
Perhaps question belongs in urban theory thread: In terms of the our nation's westward urban development, Chicago obviously has contemporary prime examples of characteristics that by your criteria above classify as "eastern." Why did they persist there but not anywhere else? Many midwestern cities had those dense, walkable, compact neighborhoods but abandoned them. Does that trend necessarily typify a loss of eastern mentality or just highlight opportunities that are not there in the east?


Good question. Actually I think it highlights opportunities in the east that no longer remain here or that we squandered.
roger wyoming II wrote:
(I also believe the South begins somewhere between South County Mall and Festus.)


:lol: :lol: :lol: Hahaha. I love this observation. According to those coordinates the South may actually start at the Federated Autoparts dirt-track Raceway in Herculaneum/Pevely. Which, for those of you who haven't been, is definitely worth checking out. It's really loud, really fun, and very southern.
I had a friend who grew up in south county. He said that while growing up, he had always believed we lost the Civil War.
I'm curious if there is a way to look into the population numbers a bit closer. Is it a demographic shift that is occurring or variances in age distribution? If this is migration that is occurring, does anyone know where said young adults are coming from? I was thinking, Pittsburgh and St. Louis does have one factor that would attract young adults more than other cities on the list, mainly the areas outside of their metro areas are more depressed than the other cities so they may be getting migration from those areas.

Also, is this statistic a leading indicator of future population growth? Mainly if said group is growing faster will in time the overall also pick up? This could give an indicator of which metros grow faster in the future vs ones slowing down growth. (or in Detroit's case, shrink faster)
^ Certainly I think if we can retain a greater percentage of young people as they form families than in the past then we'll definitely see overall growth in time. And I think we are already seeing the better retention.

In terms of Millennial migration patterns, I haven't seen any migration maps by age but that would awesome if someone has done that. My suspicion is that a lot of this growth -- perhaps the majority -- is driven by intraregional movement from Saint Louis County and others within the region. The Echo Boom has generated a lot of bodies, and with generational preference changes a lot of the children of parents who moved away from the city are coming back. It would be neat to see where the young people coming to the region from rural Missouri are settling. Do they tend to live in the City? Or maybe choosing the County or Saint Chuck's more? And finally, we're also get our share of young people coming from Chicago and beyond... (in my comings and goings more seem to be from Chicago or California than say Poplar Bluff or Mexico) but what would be interesting to know is if this is a growing preference trend of Saint Louis as a national destination for the young (probably not) or simply again a larger pool of bodies than before (probably).

Anyway, I think its great and bodes well. My only concerns are what happens when the end of the Echo Boom lessens the recruiting pool (not sure) and whether we are presently creating enough quality jobs to maximize our success (no).



What would be really interesting to know is
^^ well this study would not track movement within the metro area, but going in or out of it. And yes there may be an echo boom effect, since birthrates did vary a lot and dipped in the 1970s.

Actually with jobs, I wonder if there will be a labor shortage here due to older workforce. I remember seeing some trends that showed the working-age population is shrinking even with growth due to age breakdown. Actually I'm wondering particularly to the future of the makeup of the building trades here in this, since its often older Union-labor that is the backbone unlike most areas of the country where its immigrant labor.

It would be interesting to see where metro area inflow and outflow goes to. Is this people from say within a few hundred miles away moving into the area, or is it further away more, or is it international immigration? From what certain job trends are it seems to be more from the west coast, particularly the SF and Seattle areas. One consequence of this migraton will be increase demand for air travel to certain markets due to increased business and commercial connections. (recent additions to SFO from Lambert is possibly related to this)
^ You may find this article on Saint Louis migration from 2012 interesting.... it takes a look at IRS and census data and points to the complexity of trying to determine long-term patterns in an era of tight housing market and sluggish jobs growth:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metr ... 778e5.html

"... many of the city's new arrivals are from other metro areas, particularly Chicago. But most come from within the region. About 60 percent of the city's migrants from 2006-2010 — 58,000 people — came from St. Louis County."

Again, there are migration maps around but I can't seem to find any that are broken down by age.
^ I remember that, there is still a lot of flux determining long-term patterns due to that and likely the upcoming retirement wave. Maybe with things getting better since then some better patterns are established.

Actually I do remember seeing an interactive map that showed highest inflow and outflows between metro areas. And this article is correct that the largest number is from the Chicago metro area. I'm trying to recall the next largest metro net inflow, I'm thinking it was Detroit metro. The downside is it didn't deal with rural county inflow which also occurs. As for net outflow I think it was Dallas.

Age would be good to know as it could be a leading indicator of future trends.
^ right. I've seen maps/charts on overall inflows and outflows between metros and separate maps for migration rates by age but the combo is what seems to be missing.
Do any studies indicate why people left or are coming?