Between 2000 and 2010, more college-educated professionals aged 25 to 34 moved downtown than to the suburbs in 39 of the 50 largest metros. Victor Couture of UC-Berkeley and Jessie Handbury of the University of Pennsylvania believe that service amenities have driven this migration.
Citing their work, CityLab staffer Eric Jaffe reports that young professionals chose to live in cities with established amenities:
If young people merely flocked to places adding amenities from 2000 to 2010, they would have gone to the suburbs in greater numbers, since the suburbs actually experienced more amenity growth than downtowns did at that time. The fact that they went downtown, which had greater initial amenity densities in 2000, suggests to Couture that they’d developed a new preference for living near bars, restaurants, theaters, and the like.