Memphis is resilient, hardworking, persevering and generous—it’s a tough city with a big heart that understands the need to change with the times while keeping the core identity that has defined it for generations intact. It’s a place that, increasingly, young people are calling home.

Millennials are flocking to America’s cities in record numbers, but not all cities are created equal. Memphis was recently listed as one of the top cities to which millennials are moving, with its millennial population increasing 9.5% between 2010 and 2015. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so let’s take a minute to talk about what it is that makes Memphis so attractive to millennials.

America’s largest small town

One of Memphis’ greatest strengths is its unique combination of big-city amenities and small-town charm. It has the cultural diversity and economic opportunities of a city, along with a tight-knit community and low cost of living typical of a much smaller municipality. This unique combination isn’t lost on the many new residents who are calling Memphis home.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Memphis has been making great strides in encouraging people with big ideas to relocate here. Memphis provides a perfect environment for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and anyone with a dream of starting their own business. It’s certainly no coincidence that recent studies have shown millennials to be possibly the most entrepreneurial generation in American history.

There are currently more than 200,500 millennials making their home in Memphis, and more arrive all the time. But what’s really interesting is why Memphis is growing in popularity among the millennial generation.

Why Memphis?

Apartment searching site Abodo recently published a survey of 2,000 millennials born between 1982 and 1998 to determine what they look for in a city. Turns out that a lot of the qualities they seek are among Memphis’ biggest strengths.

  1. A thriving job market: This is the No. 1 thing that surveyed millennials said they look for in a city, and Memphis delivers. In addition to the fact that several major corporations have branches or headquarters here—FedEx alone employs about 30,000 people in the area—Memphis has become a great place to not only get a job, but also start a business. In fact, CNN recently ranked Memphis among America’s best cities to launch a startup.
  2. Affordable housing: Memphis routinely ranks among the U.S. cities with the lowest cost of living, with home prices and average monthly rent well below the national average. Indeed, CBS News recently listed Memphis among the 10 cheapest places to live in the country.
  3. Parks and hiking trails: Many millennials stated that living in a city with lots of green space is absolutely essential. Memphis has that covered, from the Old Forest State Natural Area located just a mile outside of town to the vast outdoor playground of Shelby Farms Park.

Other qualities that ranked highly in the survey include increasing walkability, a revitalized downtown, music venues, a thriving creative class, local restaurants and coffee shops. Needless to say, these are all things you’ll find in Memphis.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Memphis is a place that encourages creativity and rewards hard work—qualities that the millennial generation has in abundance. Our city is known for its rich history, diverse culture, growing arts scene and business-friendly attitude, so it’s no surprise that it’s becoming a home for people who value those very same things. If you’re one of them, we look forward to meeting you!

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