More millennials are entering the work force every day, and state and local officials say many of them are finding their niche in The Woodlands.
According to The Woodlands Development Company, the total population for 2015 was 109,679 people, with millennials accounting for 22 percent, which is slightly higher than the state’s millennial population.
“Our community’s quality of life and amenities have changed over the years to attract a growing number of millennials,” said Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership.
According to research from data and media company Bloomberg LP, Houston has been named one of the fastest-growing cities for millennials, ranking eighth among cities that have seen the most millennials move in from 2010-13.
“It’s not necessarily that millennials are all moving to the typical urban environments,” said Steve Murdock, a demographer and professor of sociology at Rice University. “They are moving where the jobs and the growth [are].”
While The Woodlands remains a family-friendly community, attractions, such as the updated bar scene, job growth and an increased number of apartment complexes are enticing to the 20- to-35-year-old demographic.
“Typically, millennials are attracted to a great nightlife, artisanal food and urban living, just to name a few,” Staley said. “The Woodlands Town Center has evolved into a vibrant urban area that embraces the social and modern trends millennials love.”
Not all millennials who live in The Woodlands work there as well, and vice versa. However, between 2010-14, The Woodlands saw an increase of 11,300 jobs and 262 employers, according to the Development Company.
Skye Taylor, a millennial who moved to The Woodlands when she began working as a retail sales representative for Nestle, said she enjoys the outdoor activities the area has to offer, such as kayaking or enjoying space to relax in a hammock. Having access to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, numerous places to eat and other millennial-friendly venues are also perks, she said.
“The greatest challenge for millennials living in The Woodlands is finding other millennials to connect with,” she said. “After the social circle is established, there are a host of activities to enjoy with friends.”
As a working millennial who lives in The Woodlands, civil engineer Grant Boshart said he feels amenities tend to favor families in the area more than young professionals. However, he still enjoys the area entertainment options for people his age.
“The vast amounts of outdoor activities give me the perfect escape from my desk job,” he said. “The Woodlands offers a good balance between access to big-city amenities and escape from them.”
Robby Glass, a millennial who works as an attorney in Madisonville and lives in Huntsville, travels to The Woodlands multiple times a week to get together with friends and enjoy the amenities.
“The Woodlands offers various shopping and entertainment options, from the establishments on the Waterway to shopping and dining at Market Street,” Glass said. “There are also numerous festivals throughout the year as well as concerts at the Pavilion. I like to get to as many as I can.”
As a master-planned community, The Woodlands is home to various aspects that appeal not only to millennials, but all residents.
“Options for activities that take advantage of the great scenery and year-round outdoor weather are nearly endless,” Taylor said.
Additional reporting by Shawn Arrajj