More young people choose D.C. region despite sky-high housing costs

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Local,DC,Maryland,Virginia,Matt Connolly

Despite the Washington area's rising rents, young migrants are increasingly calling the region home.

The median age of those moving to the District from 2007 to 2011 was 26.1, according to census data. Nearby suburbs aren't far behind -- the median ages of out-of state migrants to Montgomery, Prince George's, Fairfax and Arlington counties are all less than 30.

"They're either coming for jobs or schooling," said William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. "Here they can find internships and government or government-related jobs."

Frey added that public transportation and nightlife opportunities in the city were secondary draws for new residents in their 20s.

"There's a lot of activities for them -- restaurants and community activities," he said. "Its a natural place for young people to come -- probably better than any other metropolitan area in the country."

Elizabeth Rodgers, an urban planner and demographer for Arlington County, said county officials have seen more young professionals decide to rent in the county. More than 53 percent of all migrants to Arlington are between the ages of 20 and 29, Rodgers said.

"What we've seen is that young people like the Metro corridors, the lifestyle that the Metro corridors provide," she said. "Most of the residents are made up by generations X and Y."

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