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Does your age influence where you live?

The FRED Blog has used data from the US Census to discuss the flows of net migration at the county and state levels. Those data have no information about the age of the people who switch places of residence, but other datasets offer insights into who moves and where they move.

The FRED map above shows 2022 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics about the average age of the person tagged as the “individual of reference” in its Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES). This is the first person listed in the survey response of a “consumer unit,” which is a group of people living together. There are four Census regions and four colored data ranges, each representing a slightly different age group. Thanks to improvements in living standards, the US population is living longer and its average age is rising.

Recent research from Victoria Gregory and Kevin Bloodworth at the St Louis Fed studies where people choose to live as they age. Here’s what they find: In their 20s, members of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials were more likely to live in large central metropolitan areas than members of Generation Z. Urban flight to the suburbs seems to generally characterize location decisions for people in their 30s, but it is too early to tell whether and where members of Generation Z may choose to move.

For more about this and other research, visit the website of the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, which offers an array of economic analysis and expertise provided by our staff.

How this map was created: Search FRED for and select “Consumer Unit Characteristics: Age of Reference Person by Region: Residence in the South Census Region.” Click on the green button “View Map.”

Suggested by Diego Mendez-Carbajo.

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