The survey was sponsored by CEOs for Cities – an alliance of executives, mayors and university presidents that focus on issues affecting cities – and follows a December 2005 report that found that a city’s best chance at attracting college-educated workers was to focus on those age 25 to 34.
The key findings of the online survey of 1,000 25- to 34-year-old college-educated men and women from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations include:
- Women place greater emphasis on the location decision than do men, although a majority of men also say they choose place before job.
- Basic quality of life issues ranked highest among attributes that young people looked for in a city.
- A place that feels welcoming, offers professional opportunities, has reasonable commute times, access to excellent schools, is a great place to raise children and is a place people are proud to say they live in were among attributes young adults looked for in a city.
- People prefer places where they can connect with others and have meaningful social interactions that are interesting and diverse and are environmentally responsible.
- Young adults have a strong inclination to live downtown or close to downtown.
- Young adults rely most heavily on personal stories from friends and family to form their perceptions about a place. They also use the Internet and personal visits to shape their opinions.
“When you look at trends, such as the influence of women in the workforce, the fact that technology advances allow people to stay connected from virtually anywhere and that people are less loyal to companies, these numbers make perfect sense,” Carol Coletta, CEO of the non-profit said in a press release. “This freedom has made place much more prominent.”