Gen Z goes rural

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The Future. Gen Z is increasingly moving to the Midwest and mountainous states in search of cheaper homes, more opportunities, and a simpler life. While much of the migration of the last century was focused on filling up industry center metros and suburban sprawl, the next century may be all about building up the frontier (once again).

Modern pioneering
Gen Z is heading for the hills.

  • According to a new report from StorageCafe, Gen Zers are flocking to states like North and South Dakota, Idaho, and Kansas.
  • Why? With a lousy housing market and homeowners staying put, Gen Z needs to cast a wider net to become owners.
  • But, the generation is also undergoing a vibe shift, attracted to lower population density and areas focused on outdoor activities — a marked change from big city-loving millennials.

The Midwest migration hit high gear during the pandemic, with think tank Heartland Forward noting many states in the area have started to become new industry hubs. Silicon Dragon Ventures founder Rebecca A. Fannin even argues the Rust Belt is becoming the Tech Belt.

That may be a bit overstated, but with RentCafe reporting only two million Gen Zers own homes, prospective homeowners need somewhere to go — states with low costs and lots of land seem like winning options.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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