20 Year Olds Choose California

The State of California is the 3rd largest state in land area but has population counts that outrank all other states. According to the 2010 United States Census, approximately 5,510,358 people between the ages of 20 and 29 years old live in the State of California. This is by far the highest total 20 year olds for any state in the United States.

There are more people in their twenties living in California then there are in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Washington combined. In fact, there are more 20 year olds living in California then there people living in Wyoming, Vermont, North and South Dakotas, Alaska, Delaware and Montano all together. People between the ages 20 through 29 years old make up about 14.8% of the total population of the state. The proportion of people in their twenties to the total population of the state is relatively larger than all other states in the West.

An article published in the New York Times Magazine characterizes 20 years olds as a “black box” with lots of movement happening inside. 20 year olds change jobs and residences more times than any period in their lives. As these young adults transition into adulthood they are slower to reach milestones such as marriage, having children and achieving financial independence than any other generation before them.

Elders may see these as negative or immature behaviors of the younger generation. The 20 year olds see them as exploring all opportunities available to maximize life, love and career.

California is popular for its beaches of Santa Monica, black diamond skiing in the Rocky Mountains and urban living of San Francisco. All these amenities can be attractive to a diverse and large group of 20 year olds. California also hosts over 150 public and private colleges and institutions providing many opportunities for education and career networking.

California has many young residents but these states have some of the oldest.

Marantz Henig, Robin. “What Is It About 20-somethings?” New York Times Magazine. 18 August 2010. Accessed September 15, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22Adulthood-t.html.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2010) Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010:All States within United States. Retrieved September 15, 2011 from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

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