Washington is the top destination for those age 25-34 since the recession ended in 2009.
Whether you call them Millennials, Generation Y or just young people, those between the ages of 25 and 34 have been flocking to the Washington Metropolitan area in droves. This comes according to analysis of Census data published by the Wall Street Journal.
Between 2010 and 2012, D.C. saw an annual increase of 12,583 young people. It's the highest rate in the country by far, well ahead of other popular destinations among the young like Denver, Portland and Houston.
It's been quite the turnaround for the District, which was losing an average of more than 400 members of Generation Y in the recessionary years between 2007 and 2009.
The causes of D.C.'s meteoric rise are less clear, but the analysis suggests that economics plays a major factor. D.C. has the highest median household income among large metropolitan areas and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
This is a major selling point for an age group saddled with student debt and with an unemployment rate more than twice the national rate.
Other factors beyond pure economics may be at play as well. The District's public transportation, whether Capital Bikeshare or the Metro, appeals to a generation that is increasingly abandoning the concept of car ownership. D.C. has also been ranked the third happiest city in the country for young professionals, who may find D.C.'s non-profit sector attractive.