Sacramento a Top California Magnet for Baby Boomers

The Golden State accounts for two of the fastest-growing cities nationwide for the generation heading into retirement.

Most Baby Boomers in the U.S. live in single-family homes that they own, but a growing slice of this generational cohort is choosing the attractions of apartment and city life over a quiet house in the suburbs. Residents aged 60 and over drove a surge in the total number of renter households from 2007 to 2017, with a 43 percent increase that greatly outpaced younger age groups, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the second half of that decade, a number of cities, especially in the West Coast and Sunbelt region, have experienced a sharp increase in Boomer residents. California accounted for two of the trendiest destinations, with Irvine’s 92618 zip code seeing a 48.6 percent jump from 2012 to 2017, while the San Jose zip code 95134 experienced 37.1 percent growth, a recent report by RENTCafé shows.

The only California cities on a ranking of the state’s top 10 trending zip codes boasting two entries each are Sacramento and Bakersfield. Boomers interested in apartments for rent in Sacramento have primarily appeared in 95814 (up 19.3 percent) and 95834 (up 16.9 percent), while those choosing Bakersfield flocked to 93314 (growing 25 percent) and 93301 (an increase of 23 percent).

Nationally, it’s Las Vegas that crowns the ranking of the top 20 zip codes, with 89138 seeing the highest increase in Baby Boomers over the five-year period at 79 percent, or 1,933 people. The burgeoning Nevada zip code is followed by Austin, Texas’s 78754 with a 74 percent increase and Mesa, Ariz.’s 85212 with a 66 rise.

The study suggests that the largest and wealthiest generation to ever retire is developing a taste for the entertainment, bustle and convenience of urban life, including a significant number of people who are willing to relocate from the suburbs. The analysis of U.S. Census data also shows that unlike Millennials, who are drawn to the biggest and most prestigious urban centers such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco, Baby Boomers are most often found in small and mid-sized cities such as Reno, Nev.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Other highlights of the study include Scottsdale, Ariz.’s 85266 topping the list as the zip code with the largest share of Baby Boomers at 35 percent, followed by four cities that each have a 30 percent share, including 85739 in Tucson, Ariz., and 79121 in Amarillo, Texas. Florida appears on the top-20 ranking with four zip codes: 33062 in Pompano Beach (30 percent), 33308 in Fort Lauderdale (30 percent), 32653 in Gainesville (26 percent), and 33761 in Clearwater (26 percent).