ULI Atlanta Blog

It turns out Atlanta has an “X Factor”

Originally appeared in Saporta Report April 11, 2016
by Sarah Kirsch

You would never guess Atlanta is a Generation X town based on any discussion about real estate and regional development. As one ULI member recently commented in a meeting, “I am never the popular kid in the room… I am neither newlywed nor mostly dead, I am a member of Generation X.”

But did you know that the Atlanta region has an unusually high concentration of Generation X? Young people came to Atlanta in droves in the 1990s and stayed. According to approximations from the Atlanta Regional Commission, our region is very similar to the nation in our concentration of Baby Boomers and Gen Y (e.g. Millennials) but has a much higher concentration than the nation of Generation X. Depending on which birth years you use, Atlanta actionally has a higher concentration of Gen X than Millennials.

So who is Generation X?

  • Academics often identify Generation X to be those born between 1961 and 1981. The narrowest definition is by Neilson which defines Generation X as those born between 1965 and 1976, only 16% of the United States population.
  • Sometime called the “MTV Generation” or “Latchkey kid generation”, we are associated with stereotypes of being anti-establishment, scrappy, and independent;
  • In musical terms we were punk rock, heavy metal, grunge, and rap.
  • If you don’t know already, you are google away from finding out we have a something of a generation chip on our shoulder and are thought to have a high level of skepticism.

The younger Millennials, like their Baby Boomer parents, are driving demand for all consumer products, particularly real estate. Millennials are the primary demand driver for the multi-family housing boom, one of the main factors in the resurgence of intown neighborhoods and walkable communities throughout the Atlanta region, and are now reshaping the way we think about commercial office development with so called “Millennial work places.” This demand has bolstered the ULI mission of intelligent urbanization for more walkable, sustainable communities.  Read more

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One Response to It turns out Atlanta has an “X Factor”

  1. Jonathan G. says:

    The older large metro cities in America are not affordable for the millennials. It seems like the millennials are going to towns like Raleigh, Austin, SLC, Kansas City, the new and up and coming. I will say though Atlanta is freaking awesome, so they’re missing out!

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