EDC releases results of Millennial perception studies

June 16, 2016

“We can’t talk about [Millennials] and around them,” Colleen Chappell said, when she took on the role of Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough EDC in October 2015. “We have to start talking with them.”

And we’ve done just that.

The EDC commissioned two perception studies to find out what Millennial CEOs and talent look for when choosing new cities, how they feel about the cities in which they’re currently living and building businesses, and what they think about Tampa.

The surveys were conducted in March and April 2016 in the Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Nashville metro markets. The other four markets were included because Tampa frequently competes against one or more of them for relocation and expansion projects. The nearly 3,000 Millennials surveyed were 25 to 34 years old, the prime time for most Millennials to be making important decisions about where to live and work.

What did we find?

Tampa’s business climate, cost of living, affordability, and desirability as a place to live were given the highest favorability ratings of all markets from the Millennial CEOs.

Crime played a large factor in deciding where to locate their businesses. For Atlanta CEOs, crime was the second most important decision-making factor, while more than two thirds of CEOs from Dallas mentioned crime as a key consideration for evaluating a new market. In comparison, the City of Tampa has the lowest crime rate when compared to the cities of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Nashville.

Millennials are also actively shopping for new places to call home, with 70 percent of Millennials surveyed saying they are considering moving to a new city. Top reasons for relocation include career opportunities, affordable housing, and the ability to live and work in the same area. Many are already looking at the Sunshine State as a relocation possibility, and Tampa is on their consideration list.  Half of those who said they were looking for a new city said that they’d consider Tampa. Why? Better job opportunities, amazing weather and lifestyle, and affordability were among the key reasons.

Tampa’s craft beer and food scene, weather, lifestyle, and airport were all noted as favorable assets of the community by local Millennials. But we still have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to commuting times, housing costs, and public transportation options, according to those who live here.

In her presentation to EDC Investors and media last week, Chappell wasn’t shy about what to do now that we’re armed with solid data that proves that our community has what Millennials are looking for in their next place to live:

“We need to make everyone an economic development ambassador,” she said.  “It’s time to connect the dots and spread the word about Tampa and Hillsborough County as the ideal place for Millennials to build their lives, careers, and companies.”