Millennials are living large in the District, according to a new study.
District-based personal finance site WalletHub.com compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine where this generation has thrived and struggled. They examined each state and the District across 36 key metrics, ranging from share of millennials to millennial unemployment rate to millennial voter-turnout rate.
The result: D.C. not only has the highest percentage of millennials in the nation, but they also earn the most money out of anyone in their age group throughout the country.
While millennials are overwhelmingly renters and not homeowners, only a small percentage still live off their parents, most have health care, and very few are depressed, according to the study.
Overall, District millennials — defined by Pew Research as those born between 1981 and 1996 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium — had a total score of 66.04, just percentage points behind Massachusetts.
Although in the “affordability” category, the District ranked 30th, millennials in D.C. ranked first in overall quality of life and second in education and health.
Washington state, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Utah and Pennsylvania also received high overall scores. Virginia finished 17th overall and Maryland came in at number 35.
The study found that the District has the highest percentage of millennials with North Dakota, Alaska, Utah and California rounding out the top 5.
New Jersey, Florida, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Maine had the lowest number of millennials living in those states.
Millennials in the District have the highest average earnings followed by New York, Washington state, Massachusetts and California.
Delaware has the highest millennial ownership rate while the District has the lowest.
The study also revealed the top five states with the highest percentage of millennials with health insurance coverage: Massachusetts, D.C., Hawaii, Vermont and Minnesota.
Hawaii, Texas, D.C., New Jersey and Georgia have the lowest percentage of millennials with depression while North Dakota, D.C., South Dakota, Wyoming and Iowa have the lowest percentage of millennials living with their parents.
“As a matchmaker, I sit down with more than a dozen Washingtonians between the ages of 25 and 40 every week and I talk to a lot of people and it’s my job to figure out who they are, what their goals are, and what they’re looking for long-term,” said Kat Haselkorn, a matchmaker with The Three Day Rule, a tech-enabled personalized matchmaking company to help discerning singles find meaningful relationships. “If there is one thing I’ve noticed about D.C. millennials, it’s that they are overflowing with passion and drive. Everyone I meet feels so strongly about making an impact on the world.
“In D.C., even if you’re young, you can have influence over decisions that affect humans on a global scale,” Haselkorn said. “I think that’s what motivates a lot of people to come to D.C. and what continually drives them to excel once they’re here. In terms of dating and meeting ‘the one,’ it also means there are tons of great catches here, which makes my job as their matchmaker so much fun.”
Millennials seek social change as part of their everyday lives and one of the best places to be for social impact is Washington, D.C., said Sarah Hamilton, Fulbright specialist and social impact expert.
“Washington, D.C., allows millennials to thrive with limitless event opportunities,” Hamilton said. “Whether they want to party with a purpose, create art for a cause, use a social platform for a cause, or join a social justice campaign professionally or personally, Washington, D.C., is the place millennials can thrive socially while creating positive social change.”
Yazan Abdeen of Nobles Holding in the District said it was just three years ago that he and his wife decided to move back to the United States. He said they narrowed their choice of locations to D.C., San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Dallas.
“Based on a number of metrics for us to pursue education, career advancement, affordability and ease of commute, we selected D.C. metro area and moved here two years ago,” Abdeen said. “I can easily say that it has been an excellent decision to live, work, study and play. The allure comes from the expansion of employment opportunities in the area, the high quality of living in certain D.C. neighborhoods and Northern Virginia, the professional networks, and access to some of the top universities in the world.”