Just not all millennials. Lots of young bankers and lawyers and software developers are making big bucks, and they're especially likely to be your neighbors if you live in Arlington, Va. Aaron Terrazas, an economist at Zillow, compiled a list of the cities in which the most rich millennials live 1, defining millennials as 22 to 34 years old and "rich" as households earning at least $350,000 a year. His research offers one finding you'd expect and another that's a little more surprising.
Tech hubs dominate the list, which makes sense, since San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Calif., Seattle, and Denver are full of software companies that pay high salaries to young workers. Arlington, Va., is slightly less obvious: It's a well-off inner suburb of Washington, where the median income is $109,000 and 19 percent of households earned at least $200,000 in 2014. Perhaps more importantly, the median home value is a bit more than $600,000, according to Zillow, making it a likely stopping point for Beltway professionals on their way to bigger homes in other suburbs.
Huntington Beach, Calif., which once waged a gnarly trademark dispute with Santa Cruz, Calif., over who had the right to the moniker "Surf City," seems like another outlier. The median income is $85,000, and 12 percent of households earn $200,000 or more. Terrazas points out, though, that Huntington Beach is next door to Newport Beach, home to Pimco and a host of other high-paying financial companies.
Terrazas also created a breakdown of cities in which millennials are more likely to be wealthy than members of their parents' generation. Of the 73 cities in the Zillow survey, in only 13 was the share of millennials earning at least $350,000 higher than the share of boomer households at the same income threshold. Millennials are most often wealthier than their parents in tech towns and close suburbs of major cities, such as Yonkers, N.Y., or Jersey City, N.J., where well-paid bankers and lawyers and other professionals are likely to live before outgrowing their abodes when they start a family.