LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – According to a new study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University, nearly six in ten young adults live within 10 miles of where they grew up, and eight in ten live within 100 miles. This continues to reign true for Lafayette, Louisiana.

The number of young adults that do not leave Lafayette, La. is at an astounding 79%, according to the study. If the average young adult who grew up in Lafayette were to move, it would most likely be to an area about 88 miles away for their job. The study says that is 93 miles below the national average, which makes Lafayette interesting.

According to the Census, if young adults were to move away from Lafayette but continue to stay in Louisiana, they would most likely move to:

  • Baton Rouge – 2.7% (70 mi. away)
  • Lake Charles – 2.2% (65 mi. away)
  • New Orleans – 1.8% (129 mi. away)
  • Houma – 1.0% (88 mi. away)

On the other hand, the Census shows that if Lafayette young adults decide to move out of state, they would most likely choose:

  • Houston, TX – 2.4% (200 mi. away)
  • Dallas, TX – 0.62% (335 mi. away)
  • Austin, TX – 0.47% (326 mi. away)

Lafayette confirms the U.S. Census Bureau study because it falls within the patterns originally observed. The key data of the study is that most young adults do not move far from their childhood homes, which Lafayette proved.

The final dataset that was used “draws upon anonymized decennial census, survey, and tax data for people born from 1984 to 1992, to measure migration between locations in childhood and young adulthood. Childhood locations are measured at age 16 and locations in young adulthood are measured at age 26,” according to the study.


Race also plays a part in the overall results of the Census. The study showed that “Black young adults moved, on average, 60 fewer miles than White young adults. This is because White young adults were more likely to leave their childhood commuting zone (CZ) and, when they did, they traveled farther.”

For Lafayette specifically, race also plays a part in the percent of young adults that stay in their hometown:

  • Asian 66%
  • Black 80%
  • Hispanic 68%
  • White 79%

The locations that young adults are moving to also vary based on race. The Census showed that “for White young adults, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago were the most common destinations, followed by Denver. For Black young adults, the most common destination was Atlanta, followed by Houston, Washington, D.C., and New York City.” Black young adults seem to be moving to more southern locations.


Income is another factor to be considered when looking at the results of the study. The researchers found that people raised in higher-income families are more likely to move to large cities in the south. This could be due to higher income being offered, which seems to have a large impact on migration decisions made by young adults, according to the study.

According to the study, income does not seem to affect the percent of young adults moving until the top 20% of income. The percentage drops to 71% in the top 20% of income, while the other income brackets stay around 80% for the percent of young adults who stay in Lafayette.

Income and race can also go hand in hand with the study confirming that compared to White young adults, Black young adults were less likely to move somewhere in response to a higher income being possible.

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