Why Are People Moving to Smaller Towns Rather Than Cities?


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In the midst of the pandemic, many are moving from cities to suburbs.

Everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. People were stuck quarantining in their homes for weeks, only leaving for necessities like groceries. This upheaval of daily life left some people ready to make a big change in their lives: moving out of their current abode in search of a new and improved one.

Because the coronavirus spreads quickly, living in a big city became an unattractive option. Cities are known for having lots of people out all the time, and the pandemic caused city-livers to worry that they might be more likely to catch the virus by living in such close proximity to their neighbors. 

Many people are also choosing to move now because they can do their work and schooling at home, rather than making a commute. According to CNBC (www.cnbc.com) in an article entitled “Smaller American Cities See Big Interest from Urban Flight,” “Now that more Americans can work and attend school from anywhere, they are increasingly looking to leave large urban centers for smaller, less dense cities with cheaper housing.” Houses in suburban areas are also generally less expensive than residencies in cities. Additionally, many people enjoy the vibe of smaller towns and feel happier living there. After moving away from the city, many feel like they have found their forever home. 

Pop culture and the media also have a large impact on housing trends. During quarantine, people watched an increased number of television shows and movies set in small towns and have wondered what it would be like to live in such a place, such as Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls; for some, this dream is now becoming a reality. 

According to the Washington Post, when asked where they live versus where they would want to live, around 15% of people actually live in more rural areas, whereas a staggering 27% of people want to live there since such places are quieter and more secluded. Around 17% of people want to live in a smaller city, and around 12% want to live in a town. 

Many students have their own explanations as to why people are trading in their city lives for more suburban ones. “I think people are moving to smaller towns because they are less condensed than the city,” speculated freshman Amelie Duch. “With the coronavirus, many from the city have fled to Long Island in hopes of slowing the spread.” 

Sophomore Amber Arena believes it is simply a matter of safety as to why people are moving out of cities: “I think people are moving to small towns because they are spacious and it is easier to socially distance there.” 

Claudia de Souza, who works for the real estate company Coldwell Banker, shared an analytical reason for the increase in moves: “People are moving right now because families are growing, and income rates are very low.”