A whopping 83 percent of the “silent” generation — born
before 1946 — said they like driving. Millennials also like
bicycling much more than those born after 1946. (Their
liking of bicycling is even with that of Generation X.)
Millennials are the most likely to bicycle for transportation, not just exercise.
All groups said they like walking, including 83 percent
of millennials. But as with bicycling, millennials and
Generation X stand out in their preference to walk for
transportation. That matches their preference for walkable communities, as noted by many REALTORS® and
others who study millennials.
Mackenzie Davis Luke is a REALTOR® in Athens, Ga.,
a town of 120,000 that is home to the University of Georgia. There’s little public transportation, and it’s not a very
bicycle-friendly community, Luke said.
“Walkable areas for us are not near transit,” she said.
“They’re walkable to local restaurants and bars. People like
having that sense of community.” A millennial herself,
Luke has found that her generation likes to live closer to
town, even if it’s not a big city.
Luke’s experience matches what Joseph Kane, researcher
for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, found in the latest American Community Survey
from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Respondents were asked how important various factors are when deciding where to live:
78% 84% 74% 81% 63% 56% 56%
walk to other
places in the
to highways Having
“Some markets have a big emphasis on walking and bicycling,” Kane said. “In Columbia, S.C., almost one-quarter
of 16- to 24-year-olds walk or bike to work.” Younger
workers are leading that trend. But the NAR study found
that 19 percent of millennials walk mainly to save money,
so that preference could change as their income rises.
According to the NAR survey, 26 percent of millennials
used a bike in the last 30 days — similar to the 25 percent of all survey respondents. However, millennials were
more likely to use a bike for transportation purposes rather
than just for recreation. The top five reasons why people
don’t bike more: they need a vehicle for work, school
Photo by Elvert Barnes