Experts say the increase in city centre living is responsible for the trend.
Source: Millennial Manchester: Why young people are snubbing London and moving to our city
Author: Imogen Cooper, Chris Slater & Alice Cachia, Manchester Evening News, 19 Jan 2019
Manchester has seen a surge in the number of young people flocking to the city. There were 440,221 people living in our city in 2002, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. By 2017, that number had climbed to 555,610 people - an increase of 115,389 or 26 percent.
While most age groups have seen a rise during those 15 years, the number aged between 21 and 30 has grown nearly twice as fast, soaring by 51pc over the period. As of 2017 there were 129,458 young people in Manchester. That is up by 43,875 people from the 85,673 in 2002.
That surge could be explained by younger people being more likely to want to work in a city in the hope of securing a better job and salary. Experts claim the rise in popularity of city centre living is one of the major factors behind the boom.
A 2015 report from the Centre for Cities found that: “Young people tend to prefer having good access to leisure facilities, culture, transport and jobs – which explains why students and young skilled professionals are attracted to city centre locations.”
The M.E.N has also previously reported how many 'Millennials' are snubbing the lure of London to move to Manchester.
'Millennials', also sometimes referred to as Generation Y, loosely refers to those born from the early 1980s to mid-1990s, who have grown up during the early part of the second millennium and are now in their twenties or early thirties.
A whopping 10,200 people left London to move to Greater Manchester in 2017 - while 8,870 people moved from Greater Manchester to London, for example. Two age groups in Manchester actually saw a fall in population between 2002 and 2017, the new figures show.
In 2002 there were 24,236 people aged between 71 and 80, a figure that had dropped to 21,077 as of 2017. And the number of people aged between 81 and 90 fell by 148 people to 12,511 over the same period.
Salford in particular also saw a surge in the number of young people aged 21 to 30, up from 12,917 to 22,812 - a rise of 9,895. Stockport saw the smallest increase in the number of young people living there, up by just 399 between 2002 and 2017.
Rebecca McDonald, analyst at the Centre for Cities, said: “Our research found that the rejuvenation of city centre living has been largely driven by single twenty-something students and young professionals.
Ease of accessibility to leisure facilities is the reason city centre living has become so attractive to Milennials analysts say (Image: Manchester Evening News)
“Around one in three city centre residents are aged 20 to 29, and this proportion rises to almost half in larger cities.
“Young people are drawn to city centre living by a combination of access to jobs, leisure facilities and cultural pursuits.
Unlike older generations, young city centre dwellers lack dependent family members so policing, access to schools, or larger homes are lower priorities.
“But with higher demand to live in an area comes higher prices.
“Around 30pc of city centre residents we studied cited housing costs as one of their least favourite things about living in city centres.
“To address this, policy makers should look at ways of increasing the supply of housing in city centres and places with good connections to the centre.”
Millennials tell us why they love Greater Manchester
Abby Mercer, 22, said: “I've lived in Manchester for the last four years. I started university in London but dropped out at Christmas in my first year because I hated it. Going to uni in London was so different, there was no student hub at all.
“I've been working in Manchester as a paralegal for six months and I love it. There are so many new bars and restaurants opening all the time, a great night life and I can live so much closer to the city centre than I would in London.
"I think Manchester has all the benefits of London without the unpleasantness of the tube. The only problem is if you live in the city centre there are very few green spaces.
“Before I got my job here I felt a lot of pressure to go to London - it feels like it's expected of young graduates who want to be successful. I was applying to jobs in London but had a moment of realisation that I really didn't want to leave Manchester.“I can definitely see myself staying here, one day I'd love to settle in Didsbury.”
Abby Mercer, 22 (Image: Manchester Evening News)
Olivia Powell, 25, said: “I've lived in the Green Quarter in Manchester for the last five years. It's a fantastic city with so much to offer, plenty of job opportunities and affordable housing. A lot of my friends came here for university and chose to stay.
“I love that it's big enough to feel like a city but compact enough that you can walk from one side of town to the other. The only problem is as a young woman I don't really feel safe walking through the city centre alone at night.
“I work in Macclesfield and commute every day, but I don't see myself leaving Manchester any time soon. There's far more to do here than I would find in Cheshire. I'm really happy here and I know I've made the right choice for me.”
Charlie Win, 25, said “I moved to Manchester for university four years ago and haven't left. I love the culture here - I'm a DJ and run my own club nights, and I don't think I'd get to do that anywhere else.
“But I'm under increasing pressure to move to London. I'm a management consultant and all the best jobs in my industry are down there. There are particular areas of work I'm interested in that are only available in London.
“I don't want to go, but I might need to if I want one of the highest paid positions. My firm tells us that they are committed to becoming more regional, but I don't think that's true - you still need to be in London for the best jobs.”
Olivia Powell, 25 (Image: Manchester Evening News)
Felix Sanders, 24, said: “I was born in London but now I work as a chef in Manchester. It's perfect for me, Manchester is fast becoming a food destination, with places like Ancoats and Stockport really developing foodie reputations.
“I think a lot of people stay on from university because being a student gives you time to see the city and if it clicks with you. I moved out of Fallowfield and into the city centre in my final year of uni and that was a massive factor in my decision to stay.
“I'm happy and comfortable in Manchester and could easily see myself settling here. It's the perfect size: there's loads to do and a great sense of community without it feeling too big and alienating. Honestly, the only downside is the weather.”
M.E.N reporter Alexandra Rucki has previously written for us about she decided to move back to the city from London.
Alexandra Rucki moved back to Manchester from London three years ago (Image: Alexandra Rucki)
She said: “At first I loved living in London and the social life that came with it, but the drain on my finances meant I didn't get to take full advantage.
“In London I lived in the living room of a two bed flat in Zone 3, converted to three, with two other girls. It was tiny and really noisy.
“For the same amount of rent I now live in a city centre flat, it's still a novelty to be able to live so close to the centre. “I had to catch a train and two tubes for the 7 mile journey to my office, spending £40 a week to top up my Oyster card. Now I have just a 20 minute drive from home.
“It was a struggle to save any money, but now I can afford to have a car and go on holidays.
“I think people are becoming aware of the fact it is no longer necessary to build your career in the capital, there are many opportunities for graduates in Manchester.”