PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — A younger generation is leaving El Dorado County faster than the rest of the country.
Adults between the ages of 21 and 37 are leaving the county in proportions only surpassed by two other counties in the entire country.
“We appreciate the surroundings. you know, other people might be looking for something the city has to offer—events, restaurants. where Placerville is kind of, enjoy nature and that’s what you got,” said Kevin Johnson.
Newlyweds Johnson and his wife Ashley love the area, but they’re the exception to the trend. Realtytrac says El Dorado County’s millennial population just just over 29,000 last year—a nearly 25 percent drop since 2007.
“There isn’t anything here that they really as far as employment,” said resident Jim Coalwell. “A lot of them have a tendency to want to go.”
Jim Claybaugh, with the county’s economic development department, thinks the younger generation is following higher paying jobs to bigger cities. The county is now trying to help businesses cut through red tape to help bring more jobs to the area.
“We can offer fast-track permitting, we can sometimes defer the permit fees until the business is ready,” he said.
Placerville Mayor Carl Hagen says even though younger people are leaving, the county population as a whole has gone up.
“We do have a number of growing small tech companies, and our health care industry is growing quite a bit,” he said.
The Johnsons say they’d like to see more people their age come back to the region.
“It’d be fun to have people come back,” Ashley said. “Like always discuss, one of our friends lives up in Truckee and they constantly have concerts and different events they do at night. We’re like, ‘Aww, wish we had something to do like that.”
Census numbers show the opposite trend is happening for baby boomers, who are moving from higher-priced and heavily populated areas to lower-priced and less-populated markets.