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From City to Suburb: Why are Americans Moving?

The big cities have lost their draw and more Americans — especially millennials — now prefer to live in homes in quieter suburbs. The urban exodus has been happening over the past years — but what makes the suburbs more attractive than the city?


Urban centers are notoriously expensive — particularly New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Events in 2020 also highlighted the disadvantages of living in high-density urban centers. In Seattle, the number of people fleeing the city jumped by more than 1,500 percent. Rental costs figured prominently in their decision to leave — with some of them heading to smaller towns. The urban exodus is being mirrored across the United States, driven in large part by millennials. Young professionals are also seeing the merit of owning a home and starting a family — and the suburbs make it easier to do so. Renting a single bedroom unit in the city can cost $2,000-$4,000. That same amount can cover monthly mortgage loan payments for a 2-4 bedroom house in the suburbs.


Almost every state in the U.S. is making efforts to lure people out of densely-populated cities. Suburban development is always ongoing, and most suburbs have most of the facilities and enterprises of big cities. Suburban schools are quite common, and most of them are at par or even better than the national average. There is no lack of medical facilities as doctors run their practice at their homes, clinics, or smaller medical facilities. Shops and groceries go where there are people — but even the smaller suburbs will have access to local markets and bodegas. Entertainment venues can be limited, but most Americans can make do with just lounging at home and watching movies. Road Improvements have also made commutes to urban centers faster and more convenient — allowing individuals to work in the city while residing in the suburbs.

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Most suburbs are peaceful. People tend to get along with their neighbors, and crimes are few and far between. Local police departments also have a closer relationship with the community because of the smaller ratio between officers and civilians. Of course, police response times can be a bit slow — but suburban homeowners will usually have their own way to deal with the crisis.


Whether it’s being cramped in a small apartment building or a crowd of people — the bustle and high pace of big cities can be overwhelming. The concrete jungle can bring about feelings of being trapped or boxed-in — creating stress and anxiety. Moving to the suburbs changes the pace. A suburban home — with its own garden and unrestricted views of the surroundings — provides feelings of freedom and safety. Owning your own home also eliminates the need to conform to strict apartment rules and regulations. You can live a more laid-back and stress-free life, free from the sounds of rumbling cars or noisy neighbors.

The classic American dream has always been tied to the suburbs. As big cities continue to become unlivable because of high costs and congestion — the suburbs are increasingly becoming the ideal places people want to live.

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