Lee, Collier metros rank low for single millennials, report says

Laura Layden
Naples Daily News

For retirees, Naples and Fort Myers may be considered great places to live.

For millennials, not so much, according to a recent report by Porch.com, an online marketplace for homeowners.

The report places the two metros near the bottom of a ranking of best places for single millennials, who now range in age from 25 to 40.

After all of the data got crunched, the Naples metro — or Collier County — ranked at No. 146.

Fort Myers — or Lee County — didn't do much better, coming in at 140, out of the largest 150 metros in the United States.

To come up with its list, Porch used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, taking into account such factors as the millennial share of the population, gender ratios, median income and options for food and entertainment.

Sarasota ranks low, too:Metro ranks near bottom for single millennials, lowest share of population in US

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Millennial Katie Trudeau poses outside the Ave Maria Oratory on Nov. 17, 2016.

According to the report, the millennial generation makes up 14.4% of the population in the Naples metro. That compares to 17.1% in Fort Myers.

Not far away, the Sarasota metro had the lowest share at 14.3%.

Other notable Florida metros near the bottom of the heap on that same metric include Port St. Lucie at 16.5%, Ocala at 17.1% (tied with Fort Myers), and Palm Bay at 18.2%. 

As for gender ratio, there are 18% more millennial men than women in Naples. That compared to 6.9% more men in Fort Myers.

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Nationally, there are 1.2% more men than women in the millennials age group, according to Porch.com.

"In 1950, the median age at first marriage was 20.3 for women and 22.8 for men," the report states. "By 2020 that had increased to 28.1 for women and 30.5 for men. The result is that currently only about 44% of millennials are married, compared to 53% of Gen Xers, 61% of Baby Boomers, and a whopping 81% of Silents when they were similar ages."

Charleston, South Carolina, ranks high on Porch.com's list of best places for single millennials.

Silents now range in age from 75 to 95.

Porch.com noted several reasons for the tendency for millennials to marry later in life than previous generations.

"Many are worse off financially than their parents were at the same age," the report states. "Likewise, millennials are saddled with student loan debt, and a large share graduated either during or shortly after the Great Recession."

"Research shows that while millennial employment recovered within a decade following the Great Recession, millennial earnings never did. Additionally, because millennials grew up during a period of record divorce rates, they might be consciously approaching marriage more cautiously than their parents did."

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More from Southwest Florida:Nearly half of Sarasota metro's millennials own their home, above national average

Charleston's metro area ranked as the best place for single millennials. Nearly 24% of its population falls in that age group, and nearly 41% of the city's millennials are single, their employment rate is more than 6% higher than the average and there is nearly a balanced gender ratio to boot.

In Naples, the percentage of single millennials is 29.8%. In Fort Myers, it's 35.4%.

As for millennial employment, it's 7.8% lower than the average in Naples. It's 5.3% lower in Fort Myers.

Besides Charleston, other metros scoring well on the list included: Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, California; and Austin, Texas.

Derek Gilliam, with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, contributed to this story.