New Data Explores Where Americans Most Want to Move

New data offers plenty to ponder regarding cost of living and mobility

Moving van
A new report offers plenty of insights into what cities people are looking to leave, and where they would most like to find a new home.
Artaxerxes/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / January 26, 2020 6:05 am

Denver is an aspirational city for many Americans. That’s one of several takeaways from a new report based on data from the apartment search engine Apartment List — data that provides plenty of information on where Americans want to move, and where they’d like to leave.

At CityLab, Sarah Holder has a breakdown of the information. Some of it, she notes, contradicts certain ongoing narratives — the idea that there’s a “California exodus” taking place, for instance. To cite one example:

While about 22 percent of Bay Area renters are peeking at Seattle, Denver, New York, and Austin, mostly, people based in San Francisco want to move somewhere nearby in California, like San Jose or Sacramento, which offer similar employment opportunities and lifestyles.

The same is true for a number of other California cities. As for where Americans are interested in moving, the Apartment List data has Denver on top, followed by Baltimore, San Diego and Tampa.

As for where people are looking to leave, Orlando and Riverside top that list, followed by Detroit, Chicago and Hartford. Some cities have achieved a strange state of equilibrium: Charlotte in particular ranks high on both lists.

One other takeaway from this report: a lot of people looking to leave their city aren’t necessarily looking to go that far away. Numerous Boston residents who are looking to move are searching for space in Hartford, Providence, and Manchester. (The one in New Hampshire, not the former home of the Haçienda.)

Many of the stories that emerge from this data tell a familiar story: of people looking to stay in a region they like but lower their cost of living. It’s not surprising, but this latest iteration still offers plenty of food for thought.

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