Bergen County isn’t as hip as it once was, with tons of our younger generations moving out of the County and into New York City. Craving culture, entertainment, job opportunities and education, millennials are vacating Bergen County in droves. Whether they’re embarking on their journey, or are younger families wanting to move into the city, suburban life no longer holds the special draw that it did in the 1980’s.
Data suggests that there was an almost 20% increase in the amount of families with a co-habituating mother and father and children in middle and upper class areas of the Big Apple. This number has been increasing since the mid-2000’s with numbers reaching record highs this year. The harsh reality is that suburban living no longer appeals to the masses.
With many of Bergen County’s suburban dwellers making the commute every day to and from work, the ability to cut down on lengthy commute times by moving back to New York is a huge draw for the daily worker. Areas that are further from the Manhattan epicenter, have been depicted as the hardest hit so far. Somewhere along the line, people just started getting fed up.
The shift from suburban living to city life is having a lasting impact on Bergen County. There are less potential job seekers, less potential home buyers, and less residents to contribute financially to local business. The exodus of millennials from the area is having an important and detrimental impact on the area.
To counter the growing crisis, communities are being encouraged to reinvent themselves in an attempt to remain attractive to both residents and potential buyers. With culture, diversity and entertainment topping the list of reasons why people are moving out, communities are being encouraged to broaden their available lifestyle experiences. From theater, to gastropubs, suburbs are being faced with the need to mimic city living while living in a suburban landscape.
Last year, Bergen County’s Park Ridge area experienced a decline of more than 5% of its population, due to its residents opting to move back into New York. That means that for every 100 residents, 5 of your neighbors left. Restaurants, retail outlets and public services are the main sectors feeling the burden of the weakened population, where there is now less money to go around.
Vacancy rates in both residential and commercial spaces are at an all-time high, with housing prices up to 25 % lower than their value at the turn of the century. While creating a buyers’ market, there are simply just not enough people considering moving out of the big city and into a cookie cutter community.
John Cosgrove, the mayor of Fair Lawn, likely put it best when he said that change has to happen if communities in the area want to maintain their sustainability. However, with the lifestyle wants of the newer generation’s drastically shifting, change might just not be enough to keep the suburban dream alive.
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