Millennials are flocking to smaller cities in large numbers and abandoning major metropolises like New York and Los Angeles, according to a new study from SmartAsset, a tech-based financial education company.

“The millennial generation is growing rapidly, and Pew Research Center estimates they are expected to eclipse baby boomers nationwide in 2019,” AJ Smith, SmartAsset’s vice president of financial education told Inman. “Where millennials live impacts their budget and ability to reach their financial goals (like buying a home, starting a family or saving for retirement), so we crunched census data to find the most popular cities and states where millennials are moving.”

The study examined U.S. Census data from 2016 to track the mobility of the nation’s estimated 71 million millennials – aged 20-34. It revealed that nearly 40,000 more millennials moved to Washington state than emigrated elsewhere.

By and large, millennials are flocking to the east and west coasts or at least states nearby, according to the study. The exception is Texas, which saw the second largest influx of millennials, with more than 33,000.

When breaking it down further, it’s no surprise that more millennials are moving to Seattle – the report says it’s one of the best cities for young professionals and has no state income tax – than any other city. The Pacific Northwest city saw a net influx of more than 7,000 millennials, compared to a population that’s more than 700,000.

Columbia, South Carolina and Sacramento, California followed Seattle with net gains of 6,937 and and 6,680, respectively. Surprisingly, many major cities, including New York, were at the bottom of the list.

“”New York City is often considered a popular location for young workers, but the data shows that millennials are leaving NYC in droves,” Smith said. “Between the number of millennials immigrating and emigrating, New York lost over 31,000 millennials in 2016, according to our analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.”

“In our study, we notice that some of the bigger cities that are typically associated with higher costs of living ranked as the least popular cities for millennials,” he added. “New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami all rank in the bottom five cities for millennial migration.”

Email Patrick Kearns

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