The report analyzed three million rental applications in more than 40,000 apartment communities nationwide, and Boulder wound up in the number-one slot, with 65 percent of its renters in the Gen Z category in 2020. Davis, California, was the next closest at 61 percent, and Conway, Arkansas, came in a distant third, with 52 percent.
Boulder's Gen Z stats dwarfed all its other demographics. Just 22 percent of renters there are classified as millennials; 8 percent fall into Generation X and only 5 percent are baby boomers.
Given the University of Colorado Boulder's size, Boulder's Gen Z dominance might seem predictable — but many other major college towns aren't represented on the list of Gen Z renters' favorite cities last year. Here's that list:
The Gen Z renter presence in other major Colorado cities? It's at 29 percent in Greeley, 28 percent in Fort Collins, 27 percent in Loveland and 21 percent in Denver.
The popularity of Boulder among Gen Z renters isn't being driven by cost. According to RENTCafe, there are 824 rentals currently available, including 220 one-bedroom units. Among those, the lowest listed prices were at the Lodge, 2900 East Aurora Avenue, which touts spots starting at $795 and escalating to $1,625. But only one other complex, at 795 30th Street, advertises a one-bedroom for less than $1,000; it's set at $995.
The overwhelming majority of Boulder one-bedrooms on the RENTCafe site are going for more than $1,500, with the most expensive at the Boulders, 2850 Kalmia Avenue, where units start at $2,112 and go up to $4,160.
The lowest price for a Mile High City one-bedroom on RENTCafe right now is $672, and dozens of other places are available for under $1,000 — though rent for Denver luxury models surpasses those in Boulder. For example, the Bromwell, at 355 Logan Street, lists one-bedrooms at between $2,030 and $6,205.
Still, Boulder is no place for rental bargain hunters, whether they're in Gen Z or not.