In the picture-perfect 1950s, women stayed at home to raise a family while men worked. In the 21st century, things look very different–more women than ever before are entering the workforce and placing a premium on independence. These career-focused young women are expected to be a driving force behind apartment trends for the foreseeable future.

This shift in the rental market has been quite a long time coming. More women are attending college than ever before. Currently, there are four million more college-educated women in the workforce than there are men, and in 2011, American women earned more advanced college degrees and bachelor’s degrees than men for the first time in history.

What does this have to do with apartment trends? Plenty. Even though the housing market is beginning to improve, many women are skipping the white picket fence in the suburbs and opting to rent an apartment in the city to pursue their careers.

With the number of college-educated women growing each year, it’s likely that this shift in demographics will keep the rental market strong for some time. Paired with the student loan debt that many millennials carry, young women included, members of Gen Y will likely continue to opt for renting over buying.