Report: Sarasota metro ranks near bottom for single millennials, lowest share of population in US
Sarasota's repeated top rankings as the top place to retire in the United States on various lists may be having an effect on the region's millennial population, after a recent report from Porch.com placed it near the bottom of a ranking for best places for single millennials.
Of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro had the lowest percentage of its population in the millennial generation, at 14.3%.
That generation, now the largest in the country, makes up about 22% of the country at large — or roughly 72 million people. Pew Research considers someone a millennial if they were born between 1981 and 1996.
Researchers at Porch used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis to produce the list, taking into account population characteristics like millennial share of the population, gender ratios, median income and food and entertainment options among other criteria.
When all data was boiled down, the Sarasota area metro ranked 124 out of 150. While the Sarasota metro ranked dead last in its percentage of millennials, other nearby metro areas weren't far ahead.
The Naples-Marco Island metro area had 14.4% of its population made up by the millennial generation. Other notable Florida metros near the bottom included: Port St. Lucie's metro at 16.5%, Ocala' and Fort Myer's metros at 17.1% and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at 18.2%.
The Sarasota metro also struggled with balanced gender ratio, as there are 3.2% more women than men in the millennial generation. Nationally, there are 1.2% more men than women that fall among millennials, according to the analysis.
Of particular note, millennials are marrying at far older ages than previous generations.
"In 1950, the median age at first marriage was 20.3 for women and 22.8 for men," the report reads. "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.
A breakdown of Sarasota area millennial marriage rates was not included in the report, but the report did note there are several factors contributing to the decline.
"Many are worse off financially than their parents were at the same age," the report reads. "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."
The report named Charleston's metro area as the best place for single millennials. Nearly 24% of the population falls in that age group, nearly 41% of the city's millennials are single, the employment rate is more than 6% higher and there is nearly a balanced gender ratio.
Other metro areas that scored well in the list included: Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, California; and Austin, Texas.