46 percent of Millennials want out of the Bay Area "in the next few years" according to a poll released today by the business-backed Bay Area Council, and although that may sound like good news to the old grayhairs who curse these phone-addicted youths, it's a serious problem according to the council's President and CEO, Jim Wundermann. In fact, he's using the results to make a plea for housing to keep the Millennials here.
"Losing our youth is a very bad economic and social strategy," Wunderman says. "Until we get serious about building the housing we need we’re going to continue seeing our region drained of the young and diverse talent that has helped make."
Millennials, a cohort measured here as 18 to 39 year-olds, cited the high cost of living (55 percent) as the number-one problem, followed by traffic (41 percent), and housing (39 percent). Homelessness and poverty/crime was also a reason they cited (30 percent) for dissatisfaction here.
"We saw a lot of young recent college grads or people who recently completed graduate programs come to the Bay Area and we added 650,000 jobs in just a few years and now those same people are entering their 30s and they're starting to think long-term about things like starting a family or building out their household,” Wunderman said. Another report, from last year, showed 80 percent of local Millennials had given up on owning a home here, so that's out.
The Bay Area Council poll was conducted online by Oakland-based public opinion research firm EMC Research between January 24 and February 1 with a 3.1 percent margin of error, surveying 1,000 registered voters across the nine-county Bay Area. And it's an uptick from the past poll, which last year showed 34 percent of Bay Area residents saying they'd leave soon. Now that overall number is 40 percent, with Millennials leading the charge. This is going to be heartbreaking for some parents: supposedly 31.5 percent of Bay Area Millennials live at home, according to another poll.