WASHINGTON -- Young, single, college-educated people flocked to Southern and Western cities during the late 1990s, helping to spur their rapid growth and booming economies, the Census Bureau reported yesterday.
Between 1995 and 2000, Naples, Fla.; Las Vegas; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta; and Portland, Ore., were the major cities that saw the greatest growth among single people 25 to 39 who had college diplomas, according to the bureau's first-ever report on the subject. Rankings were based only on people who moved into the metro area from another US address.
Metro areas in the Northeast and Midwest were the least likely to draw young, single college graduates. Philadelphia, Detroit, and Cleveland were the only three of the 20 most-populated cities that lost them. Growth in Boston and St. Louis was relatively flat.
Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas-Fort Worth all saw big gains, as did the area of San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. -- the center of the high-tech boom of the late 1990s. However, it has some of the highest housing costs in the country, which has forced many couples and families to move out.
The Census Bureau ranked metropolitan areas according to how many single, college-educated people 25 to 39 moved in from another metro area between 1995 and 2000 and then compared it to the number of people in that group who lived there in 1995.
So, in Naples's case, that region gained 483 people for every 1,000 who already were there, for a top-ranked rate of 483. It was followed by Las Vegas (409); Charlotte, N.C.-Gastonia, N.C.-Rock Hill, S.C. (344); Atlanta (282); and Portland-Salem, Ore. (268). Boston's rate was 22.
By comparison, the Philadelphia area had a net migration rate of minus-17 -- the lowest of the 20 major cities.