Salt Lake City’s forward-thinking, progressive vibe is hard to ignore, especially when you look at our largest working generation. Read more in our latest blog – a collaboration with SLCgreen and Workforce Development.
A recent study by RentCafe shows that across the country, millennials today are more likely to live in and near downtowns and withdraw from outer neighborhoods. The study ranked zip codes by the highest increases in millennial population over a 5-year period, by the largest share of millennials, and by the highest number of total millennials, using the most current U.S. Census population estimates.
The same is true in Utah, where the top trending millennial zip codes are near downtown Salt Lake City. The report from RentCafe shows significant growth in neighborhoods like Central City, Granary District, Central Ninth, Ballpark, and Liberty Park:
This resurgent interest in urban living supports what the millennial generation values — experiences over material possessions. They prefer vibrant, walkable city neighborhoods where things are happening. And neighborhoods that are transit-accessible.
Clean air and sustainability are also a large part of the decision to live and work downtown. Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Communications Manager, Sophia Nicholas says, “Our millennials realize that living downtown is a fantastic choice if you’re seeking to reduce your impact on the planet: It’s easier to have a lower environmental footprint when you’re living in denser communities. It’s easier, cheaper, and cleaner to use public transportation and to live close to where you work. Multi-family dwellings have lower resource requirements; and there are many local food options—from downtown community gardens to the year-round local farmers’ market.”
Millennials like the convenience of living downtown and deciding if they even want to own a car. The City offers convenient and eco-friendly benefits like UTA’s Hive Pass, Green Bike, and electric scooters. As one of the more progressive bike lane cities in the country, the City continues to build more, along with our electric vehicle charging infrastructure which currently offers free charging to incentivize clean vehicles. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council have also pledged to transition the entire community to 100% renewable electricity by 2032, which is a pretty clear commitment to providing a healthy place to life and work.
As a City, we’re committed to supporting local jobs, food, and community gardens. Within 10 minutes you’re at Salt Lake City International Airport which ranks as one of the top airports in the country for business travelers, with over 100 direct flights around the world.
“Downtown’s not only open for business, but there’s an energy for bigger companies to tap into the labor that wants to live here,” says Workforce Development Manager Jake Maxwell. “Many companies try to create a mini downtown that can feel a bit like a cruise ship. We look at ourselves as the destination much of the young workforce wants, just a short scooter ride away.”
Working and living downtown is the confluence of collaboration space, partnership, entrepreneurial spirit, vibrant culture, and diversity.
Our proximity to government and decision makers helps us develop responsive policies that continue to make this a great place to work—not just for our millennials but for everyone.