Where people ages 20-40 live

This is a map of Census tracts in the Capital Region core. The tracts are shaded according to the percentage of the tract population that estimated to be between the ages of 20 and 40. (see note below)

Median age

This is a map of Census tracts in the Capital Region core. The deeper the color, the higher the median age.

Capital Region population by age group

A bonus graph of the Capital Region core's population age distribution. The age group with the most people in the 2016 estimate was age 20-24 with 8 percent of the overall population.

Capital Region population age distribution Census ACS 2016

Where the Capital Region's younger adults live

Albany Quail Street houses autumn light

Maybe you saw that new list this week that ranked a ZIP code in Guilderland as the "best" neighborhood in Upstate New York for young adults.

The ranking was the result of some crunching by Buffalo Business First of Census numbers related to population, education, employment, businesses, housing, and income. That link includes an explanation of the methodology.

That a ZIP code in Guilderland would take the top spot in this sort of ranking raised some eyebrows. And we'd argue the list's methodology is basically a way of filtering for upper income people in their 20s and 30s.

Also: "Best" for whom? People in their 20s and 30s are a huge, diverse population group. Using a word like best is probably an overreach.

Anyway, the list got us curious about neighborhoods in the Capital Region that do have a lot of people 40 and under. So we rolled together some of our own clickable maps...

Look up

Maps and a bonus graph are at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

About the maps and numbers

The numbers are from the US Census Bureau American Community Survey 5-year estimates for 2016. So they're a little old. And the numbers are estimates with margins of error, so grains of salt and all that.

Also: We divided the map by Census tracts because we think those better approximate neighborhoods than ZIP codes.

A few quicks things

The heart of Albany
+ The two Census tracts with the highest percent of people 20-40 were the the tract along Quail Street in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood and the tract that includes Washington Park and Center Square. That Quail Street tract ranked #1 for both percentage of population 20-40 (73 percent) and estimated total count of people 20-40 (3,708 people).
+ Four tracts in Albany that are adjacent to the those two tracts all ranked in the 10 top. And the city has multiple other tracks that rank in the top 25.

A bit that maybe a little surprising to us: The local Census tract with the third highest total number of people ages 20-40 was the one that covers the northern end of the city of Rensselaer. A third of its residents -- 2,329 people -- are estimated to be in that age range.

Urban areas
Something that will jump out right away when you look at the map is that the Census tracts with the higher percentages of people 20-40 often are in the Capital Region's four core urban centers.

But the tracts with higher percentages of 20- and 30-somethings aren't all in urban areas. And the tract that includes a chunk of the ZIP code highlighted by Business First does stand out -- it ranked #12 in the Capital Region for highest percentage of younger adults (though only 61st for overall number). And that makes some sense because the tract includes multiple large apartment complexes. (In this regard it's kind of like the younger adult version of the Albany pine bush tract that skews very much older because its relatively large number of residences for seniors.)

Millennials like the suburbs, too
Over the last however many years a frequent theme in discussions about real estate and economic development is that Millennials are preferring more walkable, urban areas. And that's probably true on some level. But a few important things about that:

1. Millennials are a huge group of adults. At this point, when you say "Millennials" you might as well say adults 40 and under because the oldest members of the generation (depending on how you define it) are now in their upper 30s.

2. Many of them are choosing to live in suburbs!

So, sure, places like the heart of the city of Albany and downtowns of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs have high percentages of people in their 20s and 30s. But there are also clusters in Guilderland, and Colonie, and Menands, and Halfmoon.

The "Cities? Suburbs? Yes." alignment is playing out nationally, too. Just a reminder that's worth being cautious (or maybe more specific) when talking about trends.

An geographic-demographic quirk: The Census tract with the youngest median age in the Capital Region is the one that covers most of UAlbany's uptown campus and the adjacent SUNY Poly campus (median age 19.7). The tract with the highest median age is the one right next in the Pine Bush that includes a bunch of retirement homes (median age 63.8).


As is often the case, All Over Albany does a better job at delving into the statistics than the so-called mainstream media.

Thanks for all you do!

I think few millennials really want to live in suburban apartment complexes - in this region or elsewhere. The only thing that people really like about those places are the easy parking.

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