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Why Texas Millennials Are Moving to Small Towns

With increasing rents and stagnant wages, Millennials are finding opportunities in small towns

As big cities become increasingly more expensive, Millennials in Texas are looking toward small towns outside of the cities for the same amenities at half the price.

While big cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas certainly have a lot to offer Millennials, including seemingly unlimited restaurant options, entertainment, and various career paths, this “idealized urban lifestyle” is still out of reach for most.

“Student loan debt, wage stagnation, rising rents, insurance costs, and the lingering aftermath of the Great Recession, which many Millennials ran right into at a key career stage,” explained Jason Dorsey, the president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, in an interview with Texas Monthly.

These financial hurdles, combined with ever-increasing real estate prices, have caused many Millennials to set their sights outside of city limits where home prices are literally half of what they cost inside urban centers. Business owners, too, have found that small towns can grant them the opportunities and freedom they desire. “Employees, office space, and additional resources are often less expensive in nonurban areas, often making it more cost-efficient to start and build a business,” said Dorsey.

In fact, according to Texas Monthly, many of the small Texas towns outside of Austin, Houston, and Dallas are ripe for rejuvenation. “While it’s [only] an emerging trend now, we do think that smaller towns, particularly those strategically close to cities, have the ability to attract and keep young entrepreneurs as they build their businesses,” added Dorsey.

It will be interesting to see if Gen Z – the generation after Millennials who are about to graduate college en masse – keeps up the trend of moving out of cities and into smaller towns. The Center’s current research has proven that Gen Z is already a financially conservative and practical generation, so they would seem like the perfect candidates for small-town living.

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