Forget New York - millennials are flocking to these 11 US cities in droves

millennial group concertScott Roth/Invision/AP

Big cities like New York and Washington DC have always attracted young people looking to get their start.

But factors such as rising real-estate prices and high job competition have sent millennials searching for other places in the United States to call their home.

We compiled the cities and towns that millennials have moved to in droves over the past few years, using data from personal finance company SmartAsset, real-estate analytics firm RCLCO, and mortgage software firm Ellie Mae.

Here are the places you'll find booming millennial populations:

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Owensboro, Kentucky.

Owensboro, Kentucky.

Owensboro, Kentucky, may be another surprising entry on this list, but according to Ellie Mae, in 2015, millennials made up 48% of homebuyers in this riverside town of 60,000.

Owensboro is within a few hours driving of Nashville, Louisville, and St. Louis, perhaps adding to its appeal.

Athens, Ohio

Athens, Ohio

There are only six towns in America where millennials make up more than half of the homebuyers.

Athens, Ohio, home to Ohio University, is one of them, with millennials closing 59% of mortgages there, according to mortgage data firm Ellie Mae.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh's millennial population is growing at the same rate as Austin's, at 6.6% from 2010 to 2015.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Long considered a cultural hub for young people, Austin's millennial population continues to grow, rising 6.6% in five years, according to RCLCO.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

The population of millennials shot up 9.5% in Memphis between 2010 and 2015, according to RCLCO.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans' millennial population grew by more than 5,000 people from 2010 to 2015, an increase of 8.5%, according to RCLCO.

Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota

Believe it or not, chilly Fargo, North Dakota, saw a surprisingly large boost to its millennial population, adding 5,000 in 2015.

Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia

Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Norfolk-Virginia Beach metropolitan area saw the largest uptick as a percentage of its population. The area's metropolitan population grew by 16% from 2010 to 2015, according to RCLCO.

The region has worked hard to attract younger people, revamping city centers, developing new restaurants and launching a light rail in Norfolk in 2011.

Oakland, California

Oakland, California

About 7,500 more millennials moved to Oakland in 2015 than left the city, according to SmartAsset.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Seattle gained more millennials than any other city on the west coast, adding about 10,000 to its population in 2015.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina

The millennial population of Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, grew by nearly 11,000 in 2015, the latest year for which there is data.

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