Magnet States for Generation Xers

by Rana WaxmanMarch 28, 2018

If you are roughly between 35 and 49 years old, there are reasons your age group is on the move. Chances are you have a lot on your plate and want to live somewhere that addresses your needs. Not the outdated ones that said you were cynical, MTV-loving, latchkey kids. No, the new you. The generation that is entrepreneurial, driven to lead, and enthusiastic about work-life balance – AKA Generation X.
A red, green, and blue street sign pointing in different directions to represent Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X.

What is Generation X?

Generation X is sandwiched between the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation Y (millennials), according to the calculations of the Harvard Center. You can also call them by more hip names like Gen X or Gen Xers. Born between 1965 and 1982, this bracket is like the middle child who might feel invisible but actually has a distinct personality.

Governing the States and Localities, with the help of U.S. Census Bureau data estimates that Gen Xers make up about one-fifth of the total population. This makes it the third-largest generation, most highly concentrated in Georgia and New Jersey.

What Makes Gen X a Distinct Market

What is the Generation X market? Many Gen Xers are mid-career, with families that are either young and mobile or soon to be college-bound. Apart from their kids’ education, there may be aging parents to care for. Far from slackers, this cohort has lived through the stock market crash of 2008 and may be working longer and harder than they anticipated.
A older Generation X couple with their young daughter who appears to be a late teen or young adult.

Money Matters

On that point, money matters to Generation X. It affects where they move locally and non-locally. Per the Pew Charitable Trusts, “the typical Gen Xer has six times more debt than their parents did.” As a result, they say “Gen Xers need opportunities to build wealth and strengthen their safety nets.”

To this end, a state like Florida, where the high wealth individual could save income tax may lend appeal. In fact, the Gen X population in Florida has climbed, AOL Finance reports. This in line with U.S. News and World Report who ranked Florida #3 in economic growth. Other cities on the list for economic growth include North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California.

Ten Magnet States for Generation Xers

How does economic growth fit into expanded Gen X communities? For one, states with less favorable job forecasts like Illinois, New Mexico, and D.C. are seeing the most taillights as Gen Xers head elsewhere.

Where are Gen Xers moving to?

In a 2017 article, MoneyTalksNews lists the states with the highest increase of Generation X from the year 2010 to 2016.

  1. North Dakota (7.7% increase)
  2. Florida (7.6 % increase)
  3. Texas (4.1% increase)
  4. South Carolina (3.7% increase)
  5. Colorado (3.4% increase)
  6. Montana (3% increase)
  7. Oregon (2.8% increase)
  8. Washington (2.6% increase)
  9. North Carolina (2.6% increase)
  10. Idaho (2.4% increase)

A Taste for Real Estate

But beyond moving from one state to another, there are changes among the Generation X real estate market that are being discussed by realty agencies in various cities. About the transformations in Philadelphia, Maurice McCarthy, a real estate agent with OCF Realty has this insight about some of the frequently asked questions about Gen X home buyers.

How Do You See the Real Estate Market Changing For Gen Xers?

“Gen X’ers were the generation that got burned by the recession the worst. The younger Gen X’ers were just hitting their stride professionally after a few years out of college before the recession. They were the generation taking advantage of the crazy low rates and deregulation that lead to the mortgage crisis.
A closeup of a newspaper with the headline referring to the financial crisis of 2008.
They were just starting to comfortably buy larger homes for their growing families, older Gen X’ers were buying 2nd homes, and investing in real estate in 2006 and 2007, right before their investments tanked after 2008.

Both 2006 and 2007 were the historic peak years in Philadelphia real estate prices and we are only just now getting back to where we were in 2006 in real estate values. Not all neighborhoods, of course.

Neighborhoods like Graduate Hospital, Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Point Breeze are entirely different neighborhoods than they were in 2007 and have far exceeded their median home values from back then, but a lot of Philadelphia’s more centralized prominent neighborhoods which were peaking in 2006 were where Gen X’ers were buying, and those center city neighborhoods are only now just fully recovered.”

What is the Next Move for Generation X?

“Gen X’ers are selling their homes now that they’re back in the black and can finally get out from under the recession happily. They’re a little gun shy now though, and without a huge selection of inventory out in the suburbs, Gen X’ers are moving to and staying in cities, especially Philadelphia with so many neighborhoods to be confident in with affordable real estate investments.

The 10-year Tax Abatement has driven the construction boom and kept it affordable to buy brand new homes in Philly’s expanding neighborhoods. Younger millennials are coming here in larger numbers than Gen X’ers. But Gen X’ers have more buying power and they are buying bigger homes in some of the same neighborhoods,” said Macarthy.

The New Influencer

Data from Sage’s “State of the Startup” survey reported that more than half of new businesses were founded by Generation X. If the middle child is now in charge, it should be interesting to see what they do over time. As lyrics of that great 80’s tune by the Clash goes,

“Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here ’til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”

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About The Author
Rana Waxman
Rana Waxman parlays years of work experience in several fields into web content creation aligned with client needs. Rana's versatile voice is supported by a zest for research, a passion for photography, and desire to provide clients with a purposeful presence online. In her non-writing hours, Rana is a happy yogini, constant walker, avid reader, and sometimes swimmer.