Snapshot: Downtown KC residents are mainly young, diverse and happy

Downtown Kansas City seems to be a magnet for millennials.

Out of nearly 23,000 people who live in the city center, 41 percent are part of Generation Y, according to a new report from the Downtown Council and MySidewalk, a KC-based software company.

According to the report, many of these downtown dwellers have never been married and don’t have kids. The mix is also among the most diverse in the metro area. And most say they’re pretty pleased with their quality of life.

The Downtown Council defines downtown Kansas City as the area bordered by the Missouri River, 31st Street, the state line and the 18th & Vine Jazz District.

The concentration of millennials — those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s — fades as you get further into the suburbs, contradicting a recent local housing survey that found that millennials prefer suburban houses to urban lofts.

Millennials make up 26 percent of the Kansas City population and 22 percent of the metro population according to the “State of Downtown” report, which was put together from objective data sources such as the U.S. Census.

Messenger Coffee al 101817
A recent addition to downtown, Messenger Coffee Co. on Grand Boulevard, has been popular. ALLISON LONG

About 20 percent of downtown dwellers belong to Generation X, and the same percentage are Baby Boomers. The remaining population consists of older “Matures” (about 6 percent) and Generation Z (about 13 percent), those younger than millennials.

The report also found that downtown Kansas City’s population is almost twice as diverse as surrounding areas. About 53 percent of downtown dwellers are of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or mixed ancestry, compared to 27 percent in the greater metro area.

The Crossroads district includes businesses like Tapcade at Screenland Crossroads, which features a bar, a theater and an arcade. ALLISON LONG The Kansas City Star

Here are a few more facts from the downtown data:

▪ The median household income is $41,185, and the median home rent is $826.

▪ The average household size is 1.74 people, compared to 2.53 metro-wide.

▪ More than half of downtown residents have never been married.

▪ There are around 81,740 jobs downtown, more than in the downtowns of peer cities such as Cincinnati, San Antonio and Salt Lake City. More than half of downtown KC employees earn high wages, defined as $3,333 per month or more.

▪ The most common jobs available downtown include sales (1,309 jobs), management (1,233), office and administration support (1,141) and business/finance (1,008).

▪ Nearly 84 percent of people who live downtown say they’re satisfied with their quality of life, though it seems many would love to see an urban Target in the neighborhood. Around 62 percent say they’re satisfied with the value received from their tax dollars.

The KC Streetcar is one of many amenities luring millennials to downtown Kansas City. Roy Inman

▪ Around 59 percent of residents say they feel safe downtown. They reported the strongest feelings of safety around Crown Center, Hospital Hill, the River Market and the Crossroads. The Central Business District and southeast portions of Greater Downtown Kansas City were rated as feeling less safe.