Big jump in US young adults leaving parents' homes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Big jump in US young adults leaving parents' homes

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In this Feb. 9, 2005, file photo, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from atop the Stratosphere tower looking west down Sahara Ave. towards the Spring Mountains.  (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File) In this Feb. 9, 2005, file photo, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from atop the Stratosphere tower looking west down Sahara Ave. towards the Spring Mountains. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their lives on hold for years, young adults in the U.S. are now making big moves in the fledgling economic recovery, leaving college towns or parents' homes and heading out of state at the highest rate in 13 years.

New census data released Thursday offer a detailed look at U.S. migration as mobility begins to revive after sliding to a record low last year.

The latest numbers show that young adults 25-29 are the primary out-of-state movers as they test the job market in urban, high-tech meccas such as Washington, D.C.; Seattle; and Austin, Texas.

In contrast, groups that showed some of the most movement in the housing boom of the last decade, working professionals, families and would-be retirees, are still mostly locked in place, their out-of-state migration levels stuck at near lows due to underwater mortgages and shrunken retirement portfolios.

Analysts say the demographic shifts could continue for many more years.

Out are the super-sized McMansions in far-flung suburbs and in the sprawling Southwest. In are new "micro" apartments under consideration for wider development in dense cities such as New York, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle, which are seeking to attract young single adults who value affordable spaces in prime locations.

"Footloose young singles are forming the leading edge of the coming migration wave," said William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer who reviewed the numbers.

Richard Florida, an American urban theorist and professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, called the mobility gain an important sign the U.S. economy is getting back on track.

About 1.7 percent of the U.S. population moved across state lines to a new home in the 12-month period ending March 2012, up slightly from 1.6 percent in the previous year.

The share of young adults ages 25-29 who moved to a new state was higher, about 3.8 percent.

Among Americans 55 and older, out-of-state moves dipped from the previous year to a low of 0.7 percent.

According to the latest data, some of the biggest winners in recent years have been states such as California, Massachusetts and New York. The bigger states also continue to gain relatively more people from higher immigration and births.

Broken down by age and metro area, the Washington, D.C., area ranked at the top of destinations for young adults in the 2009-2011 period, rocketing up from 45th in 2006-2008. The area has been boosted by its promise of more plentiful government-related jobs.

Separate census data released earlier this year showed that most of America's largest cities were growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs for the first time in a century, driven mostly by young adults.

The census findings are based on the Current Population Survey as of March 2012, as well as comparisons of the 2006-2008 and the 2009-2011 American Community Survey to provide a snapshot of every U.S. community with at least 20,000 residents. Figures from the 2011 American Community Survey also are used to establish broader trends.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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