According to libertarian scribe Kirsten Tate (and plenty of other folks) people are fleeing the major cities like never before. Excerpt:
What developed this year is a cascade of residents leaving large cities in blue states. Among the biggest losers this year, in terms of total population loss, were New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and the District of Columbia. New York lost at least 300,000 residents this year. San Francisco saw 90,000 postal changes of address out of the city, while its median apartment rent took a nosedive of 20 percent in 2020. Los Angeles recorded more than 25,000 moves out of the city, while Chicago logged over 20,000. Even the District of Columbia lost 15,000 residents. Other cities that had sustained growth in the last decade also face severe drops in interest.
Residents who fled large cities in blue states overwhelmingly relocated to red-state cities, mostly in the Sun Belt or the West outside of California. Phoenix, already booming before the coronavirus, retained its spot as the fastest growing city in the country; its metro population now displaces Boston. The other overall winners in the demographic game this year are Nashville, where home prices continue to surge while real estate inventory is down 40 percent; Las Vegas, which tempted Bay Area techies to follow the Raiders to Sin City; Charlotte, which now has a larger population than San Francisco; and the greater Charleston area, which is likely the home of Boeing’s next expansion and has benefitted from manufacturing jobs moving south.
The Kung Flu influenced this, to be sure, but the trend was already in place, for two reasons:
- Advances in technology have made telecommuting more and more practical for a great number of office jobs, and the ‘rona just accelerated both the trend and the acceptance of the practice in business circles.
- People are sick of being asked to pay through the nose for the privilege of living in the mega-cities. Look at the pattern of the relocations; from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions, in every case.
To be sure, Mrs. Animal are now a part of this relocation, but more for personal reasons than political or financial ones, although I admit that’s a nice fringe benefit. And one of our kids, just this year, decamped the Denver area for greener pastures (literally) in Iowa, where they can maintain the same income level and enjoy a much lower cost of living.
The precautionary note in all this, of course, can be seen in the results of the last election – and in the unfortunate fate of the very Colorado that Mrs. Animal and I loved for so long.