SAN ANTONIO – The census gives us a lot of valuable information. It helps us determine the distribution of congressional seats, it's used to determine where federal funds should be allocated and it gives us a better idea of where people are moving.
The latest census report shows a lot of people — specifically, millennials — are coming to San Antonio.
Millennials are categorized as adults born between 1981 and 1996. They are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. So what's bringing millennials to the Alamo City?
“I feel like San Antonio, it's pretty hip,” said Graham Whitley, 33.
Whitley moved to San Antonio a year ago because his wife got a job in the city. He has his own tech startup and lives near downtown.
“The cost of living is low,” Whitley said. “You know, there's good jobs. There's opportunities here.”
Opportunities and jobs just might be some of the driving forces behind the increase in millennials in San Antonio.
The latest U.S. census report shows that the number of 30- to 34-year-olds in Bexar County has increased by 29% over the past eight years. That's an additional 35,000 people.
One of the biggest increases in population in Bexar County was among people between the ages of 21 and 39, according to the report.
Since 2010, the number of 25- to 29-year-olds in Bexar County has also gone up by 22%.
Charles Woodin, CEO of Geekdom, a company geared toward launching more startups in downtown San Antonio, believes one of the reasons for the trend is that more tech companies are moving to San Antonio and providing downtown growth.
“I also think a lot of development that we've seen in downtown San Antonio has attracted more of that, you know, generation of individuals to move here because it's more inviting,” Woodin said.
Sarah Jones is 26 and lives in Southtown. She moved here a year ago to work for a tech company. She said she was surprised by the number of young people living and working around downtown San Antonio.
Jones said there's a lot to do in the area for people her age.
“I go to a few bars out here. So, Paramour, there's a really beautiful rooftop bar as you can see the city — Still Golden on Broadway ... I'm also on a volleyball team,” she said.
At 36, Woodin is on the tail end of the millennial generation. He said that, sometimes, millennials can get a bad rap, but he believes the increase in members of the generation in the city can be a positive thing.
“You start to see the millennials and even younger generations put forth their efforts to try to solve some of the city's problems, and because of that effort, you're starting to see a positive change towards the city,” Woodin said.