Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains.In our community, I have seen quite a lot of preparation for the aging baby boomer generation: tax cuts, 55+ housing, workshops, etc. Let us not forget that Columbia would not be what it is today if it were not for the large migration of young people to the area. Conversely, when I talk to twenty and thirty year olds (some who were raised in Columbia), I hear that it is not the place they would like to live. I believe it is important to balance our plans for the future, and start thinking about attracting young people in addition to helping seniors.
Cities have long competed over job growth, struggling to revive their downtowns and improve their image. But the latest population trends have forced them to fight for college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, a demographic group increasingly viewed as the key to an economic future.
Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, “the young and restless,” as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.
We do not have to re-invent the wheel, another passage from the article states:
They are people who, demographers say, are likely to choose a location before finding a job. They like downtown living, public transportation and plenty of entertainment options. They view diversity and tolerance as marks of sophistication.I believe many people in this community are committed to tolerance and diversity; however, we have a lot of work with respect to downtown living, public transportation, and entertainment.
As we move forward, let us heed the following quote at the close of the article:
“The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,”I hope we are open to everyone's ideas. It is the only way to continue Columbia's success.