Also: Security theater at the National Zoo, and a “carnival of resistance” awaits Trump in Britain.

What We’re Following

Millennium outcomes: It’s easy to speculate about why Millennials aren’t buying homes. In 2015, about 37 percent of Millennials owned a house—that’s about eight percentage points lower than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers when they were the same age. While there’s no shortage of theories about why this is happening, it’s more difficult to quantify potential causes. But a new report by the Urban Institute actually puts some numbers behind the factors that make homeownership less likely for this generation.

People born between 1981 and 1997 are notably putting off some big life moves that affect when they buy a home. For example, if marriage rates were the same as in 1990, homeownership would be 5 percentage points higher, the study suggests. Student debt weighs heavily, too, with highly educated Millennials falling 5 points lower than the two previous generations on homeownership. Combine that with higher rents and lingering racial disparities and you get a fuller picture of what’s going on.

But it says just as much about the economy as it does the age cohort, because location plays a root cause. The study shows that as high-skilled jobs have drawn people to high-cost cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., homeownership has grown further out of reach, making it more difficult to build wealth and reduce inequality in the future. And moving to cheaper cities doesn't have the bang for its buck that it once did, leading to what CityLab’s Richard Florida refers to as the Great Divergence.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The National Zoo Shouldn’t Fall for Security Theater

A proposal to ramp up security at the National Zoo would undermine a historic design that weaves nature into the lives of Washingtonians.

Kriston Capps

A ‘Carnival of Resistance’ Awaits Trump in the U.K.

Except for a brief stay in London, the president will mostly avoid Britain’s cities. But protesters plan to gather across the country—and he’s far from their only grievance.

Feargus O'Sullivan

How Your Neighborhood Private Immigrant Prison Influences Its Members of Congress

A new study finds that lawmakers hailing from districts with private immigration jails are more likely to introduce harsh immigration policy.

Tanvi Misra

What Footage of a Bike Race Can Tell Us About Climate Change

Never mind who’s winning—keep an eye on the trees and shrubs.

Cara Giaimo

Life in a 1960s ‘Averagetown’

According to David Brinkley and a supercomputer, Salem, New Jersey, was the most typical place in America leading up to Lyndon Johnson’s reelection.

Mark Byrnes


Mailbag

A photo shows a theater in downtown Brunswick, Georgia
A theater in downtown Brunswick, Georgia. (City of Brunswick, Georgia)

Yesterday, we asked for your thoughts on this great idea for a city makeover show à la Queer Eye, and readers delivered. From Brunswick, Georgia, Anna Ferguson Hall writes that her port city of about 16,000 people could use a “shiny new glow” to draw in tourists beyond the city’s old-timey Fourth of July celebrations and an Elvis tribute festival:

Historic Downtown Brunswick, to outsiders, is often seen as, for lack of better words, run-down, impoverished, crime-ridden and dated. This is far from the truth. Hence, how the empowered women makeover show is a huge draw for me…

Essentially, this fabulous downtown could use more glitter, more glow, more yaasss and less no. … #BabesBuildingUpBrunswick has a nice ring to it, no?

And reader Stephen Power suggests a city-block explainer show called Block by Block: “The host should hate Starbucks, gentrification, and Robert Moses equally.”

Thanks to Anna and Stephen for writing in! Don’t be shy and send us your thoughts any time at hello@citylab.com.


What We’re Reading

How higher wages for Uber and Lyft drivers could cut traffic (Streetsblog New York)

The history of a city, told through its trash (Fast Company)

Border Protection says NYC mayor crossed border illegally (AP)

The future could be dockless: Can a city really run on “floating transport?” (The Guardian)

How this Philadelphia neighborhood is gentrifying without displacement (Next City)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo-illustration of several big-box retail stores.
    Equity

    After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

    Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

  2. A photo of a mural in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Life

    Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa

    In an effort to beef up the city’s tech workforce, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is offering $10,000, free rent, and other perks to remote workers who move to Tulsa for a year.

  3. Transportation

    California's DOT Admits That More Roads Mean More Traffic

    Take it from Caltrans: If you build highways, drivers will come.

  4. Life

    How Friendsgiving Took Over Millennial Culture

    In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults.

  5. A man walks his dog on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco in the early morning hours on Mount Davidson.
    Equity

    When Millennials Battle Boomers Over Housing

    In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.