People Can’t Flee These US Cities Fast Enough And We Know Why
Living in a big city is everything until you can’t afford it anymore. Enormous rent, high grocery prices, constant rush, and lack of social life are pushing millions of Americans to re-think the definition of the famous ‘American dream.’ For years people believed that the bigger the city, the bigger the American dream. However, it turns out that – bigger the city, higher the expenses.
So, those based in the biggest American cities and moving to no-metro cities. They are choosing smaller areas, car-free cities with lower rent, non-existing crime rates, and more job opportunities. Here are 30 of the major cities that are losing their population. If you are still living in these cities, you may think about migrating as well.
30. Fairbanks, Alaska – 7,011 Migrations
Fairbanks, Alaska, looks like one of those places that you get to see on postcards. The median house value is $226,900, the unemployment rate is average, and it has a breath-taking nature. However, all of this isn’t enough to keep people there. In the last decade, precisely 7,0111 residents migrated.
Some blame job blooming in mainland America. However, former Fairbanks citizens have something else to say. According to them, they couldn’t bear high costs of fuel, costly medical insurance, and everything that’s related to living in Alaska. Altogether, these factors pushed them away.
29. Johnstown, Pennsylvania – 7,070 Migrations
The city of Johnstown has been struggling for years. Between 2010 and 2017, at least 1,000 residents per year, has left the city.
Johnstown is no one’s favorite city anymore because of the 16,1% unemployment rate. This is the fourth-highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania. With this on the mind, it comes as no surprise that 37.9% of residents are living under the poverty line.
28. Hinesville, Georgia – 7,171 Migrations
There is not much happening in the city of Hinesville. Once, Business Insider listed Hinesville as the most boring city in the state of Georgia. With a population of around 80,000 cities has only 25 full-service restaurants and zero museums.
So, people are moving to bigger cities to find a more vibrant social life. Further, they are moving so they can find better jobs as well because the unemployment rate in Hinesville is 12.4% while the poverty rate is 15.8%.
27. El Centro, California – 7,219 Migrations
The small city of El Centro has a giant reputation. Sadly, reputation is not favorable. This small Californian city had a high unemployment rate of 16.2%, which makes it the highest in the nation. Basically, if you lose a job in El Centro, you will have to wait for years to find another one.
This sleepy city is also voted as the number one worst city in the country. Overall, El Centro had a tough time ever since the cemetery went into foreclosure in 2009.
26. Bakersfield, California – 7,314 Migrations
Bakersfield is a small city located between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s usually not the first place that comes to your mind when you think about Golden State, and there are good reasons for that. Exactly 7,314 residents couldn’t bear the horrors of this city, so they decided to migrate.
This small and charming city on the outside has some rotten inside. The town is packed with various problems. The crime rate is exceptionally high, at a rate of 46.05%, so around 70,700 residents live under the poverty line. On top of that, Bakersfield is one of the most polluted cities in the country. People couldn’t bear living in a cloud of smog anymore.
25. Norwich-New London, Connecticut – 7,365 Migrations
There is a dark side of Connecticut, and the city of Norwich-New London shows this. Although this city seems friendly and giant from the outside, some things are rotten inside.
This city has a very high crime rate, and 36,6 people ger robbed every year. This may not be a lot for million size city, but for a small town, this is a vast number. Many believe that the crime rate is directly linked with the city unemployment rate, which is at 12.2%.
24. Fresno, California – 7,571 Migrations
Not everything in California is about sunshine and movie stars. There is no better proof for this claim than the city of Fresno. There is nothing glamorous about this place. Moreover, this unusual city located between Los Angeles and San Francisco is hot, dusty, and suffers from severe substance issues. The town had so many critical situations that have put it in the national spotlight.
Fresno has a population of more than half a million and a surprisingly high crime rate. According to the website NeighborhoodScout, there is a one in 22 chance of becoming aa victim in this city. It comes as no surprise that in just seven years, around 7,500 people packed up and left the city.
23. Macon, Georgia – 7,877 Migration
Macon, Georgia, was a popular city during the 1970s and 1980s. During these decades, the city had around 120,000 residents. Now, a quarter of that population packed its belonging and moved. In just seven years, Macon has lost 7,877 residents.
Macon’s urban core was struck by the population decline. Moreover, the city failed to construct a better highway system and overall create proper suburbanization. The population of decline has led to long lines of abandoned and burned down houses.
22. Erie, Pennsylvania – 8,511 Migrations
There was a period during the Industrial revolution when Erie, Pennsylvania, was a true power city. Moreover, it was a powerhouse in the Great Lakes region. It was also a home of Griswold Manufacturing, a leader in cast-iron cookware from 1865-1957. Today, Erie is still the fourth biggest city in Pennsylvania, but it’s not as popular as it used to be.
People are leaving this city in a rush since 2010. According to its residents, Erie simply has no opportunities anymore. At the moment, the city has an impressive median home value of $126,000. Still, not even this perk can keep people.
21. Mobile, Alabama – 8,517 Migrations
Mobile, Alabama, is known to last year as the city of ghosts. What used to be the third biggest city in Alabama is now one of the less desirable places to live. In just seven years, more than 8,500 residents packed their bags and fled the city.
This city is full of contradiction. The unemployment rate is surprisingly low, but the city’s poverty rate is astonishing 22.4%, which is above the national average. However, there is a good sign here, because the population in Mobile is increasing. Between 2010 to 2017, 40,422 babies were born.
20. Washington, DC – 8,543 Migrations
If you have big professional ambitions, you go to Washington, DC, and find a job immediately, right? At least that was the case. Now, the 5.5% unemployment rate is hitting its residents hard. This rate is above the national average. And that’s not everything. The downtown housing costs are at $564,400which is more than double the country’s $226,800 national average.
Interestingly, people on the wealthier side choose to continue living the DC dream, while folks from suburbia are moving. In past years, around 8,543 residents have left the city. It seems that people are massively moving to nearby Philadelphia, PA, because of a good job offering and affordable lifestyle.
19. Atlantic City, New Jersey – 8,550 Migrations
It may be unusual to hear that people are living in the city, where everyone goes to try their luck, but it’s the truth. In just seven years, 8,550 residents packed and left for good. It turns out that locals are not fond of the high tourism rate.
According to locals, this city is now all about extensive boardwalks and casinos. Some claim that the reason for this Atlantic City migration is linked with housing the highest property tax in the nation.
18. Fayetteville, North Carolina – 8,741 Migrations
Fayetteville looks impressive on paper. The city is rich in history, has fantastic rivers and beaches, and excellent golf courses. It’s also one hour away from a military base, Fort Bragg. Still, in the last decade, Fayetteville has 8,741 residents less.
Interestingly, at the same time, the population of Fayetteville had growth. The city also has a 6% unemployment rate and an 18% poverty rate, which both tops the national average.
17. Farmington, New Mexico – 9,633 Migrations
It’s hard to live in New Mexico nowadays. The biggest reason for this is a net-negative job growth rate. In the center of this hardship is the city of Farmington. In last years, exactly 9,633 residents said goodbye to this charming place.
At the moment, Farmington has an unemployment rate of 7.8%. According to locals, this is highly linked with oil and natural gas prices dropping. Typically, carriers in the gas and oil field kept this city alive. The need for these resources is falling, so people lack jobs. Moreover, the crime rate is on the rise.
16. Charleston, West Virginia – 9,772 Migrations
Ever since the recession hit, Charleston, West Virginia is going through a constant population decline. Since 2010, around 9,000 residents left behind this historical area. Since 2010, the city also had 20,856 deaths and only 18,078 births.
On top of that, data in 2017 showed that 91,734 children were living below the poverty line. Shockingly, the crime rate in Charleston is 205% higher than the national average.
15. Wichita, Kansas – 10,335 Migrations
In just seven years, more than 10,000 people packed up their bags and said Wichita, Kansas goodbye. At one moment, Wichita was the fifth-most-moved-from state in the States.
Since Wichita has so high crime rate, it comes as no surprise that so many people are leaving this city. According to AP News, Wichita has a crime rate that is twice the national average. The local police are understaffed and underfunded, which makes the whole thing even worse.
14. Syracuse, New York – 17,717 Migrations
Syracuse, New York, is one of those cities that seem perfect to live in and start a family. Moreover, the average home seel is about $111,000m, which is cheap. So, what’s the issue here? Why are people leaving?
The city has a significant unemployment rate, and in last years more than 17,000 people left the city. Some claim that climate change is to blame because snow doesn’t stop to fall.
13. Baton Rouge, Louisiana – 18,284 Migrations
Baton Rouge is globally known as the city of festivals, and tasty cuisine. However, what people tend to miss is the fact that more than 18,000 residents are not impressed with this unique town anymore.
Baton’s crime rate is so high that it’s similar to Chicago’s. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that people don’t want to live here anymore. To make matters worse, the unemployment rate is continuously rising. Moreover, people are living from Baton Rouge to Houston for new opportunities.
12. Toledo, Ohio – 18,475 Migrations
This little city so far lost around 18,470 residents since 2010, and the number continues to grow. Still, the median house value is $129,200, which is not enough to keep people around.
Toledo has one of the highest crime rates in the States, precisely 51.3 per 1,000. Furthermore, the city is dull, and climate change goes from extremely hot to freezing weather.
11. Rockford, Illinois – 18,789 Migrations
Rockford, Illinois, had better days without a doubt. The city was built at the end of the Rock River in the 1830s. Thanks to its position, the town had a fantastic industrial development, mostly producing heavy machinery. That lasted until the latter half of the 20th century. That was the turning point Ffor Rockford, and not in a good way.
At the moment, the city of Rockford holds the highest unemployment rate in the state of Illinois. People must work to survive and live. Since people couldn’t find jobs in Rockford, they decided to try their luck in some other place. In the past decade, around 18,789 residents decided to leave the city.
10. New York, New York – 21,503 Migrations
The time has come for people to leave the Big Apple. New York is a constant witness of people moving in and out. Lately, people are always rolling out. Since 2010 more than 21,500 residents have left Manhattan.
People can’t handle any more sky-high housing prices, high food costs, and limited areas to move. So, they are usually moving from NY to Boston. The truth is that Boston is not cheap, but it provides more realistic housing prices.
9. El Paso, Texas – 21,829 Migrations
Did you know that El Paso is one of the safest big cities in the States? Still, in the last ten years, more than 21,800 residents moved away. The average home cost around $119,600 in El Paso, which is ok. However, moving there means that you will be isolated from other big Texas cities.
So, those who want more dynamic surroundings are ready to move. Also, the poverty rate is high, with 20%, which is 7% more than the national average. It doesn’t help that El Paso shares its borders with Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world.
8. Flint, Michigan – 22,658 Migrations
Flint, Michigan, had a massive public health disaster back in 2014. The disaster involved the city’s water supply being poisoned with lead. Ever since, more than 22,650 residents abandoned the city.
Ever since the water disaster in 2014, property values began to lose their worth and investments disappear. Simply said, the city needs billions of dollars and years of working to repair the large and damaged water pipes. So, naturally, the migration from this city continues.
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 27,959 Migrations
In terms of culture, Milwaukee has much to offer. After all, Miller Park and the Milwaukee Art Museum are located here. However, this wasn’t enough to keep people in the city. Between 2010 and 2017, more than 27,900 residents have fled the city. Most of them leave for Chicago.
Chicago is not the safest city in the States, but it’s surprisingly safer than Milwaukee. Actually, Milwaukee is the sixth most dangerous city in the States. According to recent data, around 41% of Milwaukee residents are scared of being robbed on the street, while 31% are scared of getting assaulted by a stranger.
6. Memphis, Tennessee – 30,000 Migrations
Memphis, Tennessee, is so rich in culture and musical legacy, holding onto a legacy surrounding some of the world’s biggest music names, including B.B. King and Elvis Presley. It seems that people are no longer attached to these glorious days. They are long time gone.
In the last years, at least 30,000 people packed and left for good. With a median home value of $142,400, it’s still hard to guess why people leave this city. There is simply no specific reason.
5. Cleveland, Ohio – 33,117 Migrations
In the past decade, a significant number of residents left Cleveland. Since Cleveland has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, this comes as no surprise. Ten years ago, Cleveland was officially the poorest big city in the States.
Sadly, things continued to be bad from there, so people are constantly leaving to find job opportunities. In just ten years, Cleveland had 33,117 migrations.
4. St. Louis, Missouri – 39,894 Migrations
For almost 40,000 residents, St. Louis, Missouri, is just a current stop before they reach Chicago. The crime rate went down for an astonishing 50% from the notorious ’80s, but not even that can keep people. Moreover, St. Louis is also today far from safe. The city went from a thriving city to a city with the second-highest crime rate in the country.
Some would also add that the city is plagued by being one of the most significant stops on a substance trafficking route. St. Louis has a low unemployment rate, a strong job market, and overall it’s an inexpensive place, compared to other major cities in the States. However, that’s just on paper. Luckily for St. Louis, in last years, the population grow by 0.7%.
3. Detroit, Michigan – 54,640 Migrations
Detroit has been struggling for years. Back in the 1950s, more than 1.08 million people called the city of Detroit their home. After the town was hit with financial hardship, this number dropped down to 673,000, and it continues to drop. The decline of the auto industry put Detroit in a hard position.
Today, the city is full of abandoned houses, and it’s officially the place with the highest crime rate in the States. Still, the population slightly grow over the past years and everyone who moves from Detroit to Chicago.
2. Los Angeles, California 93,959 Migrations
The City of Angels is not as accessible as it used to be. Once upon a time, LA was known as the city of glamour, but today its best known for bad air, horrible traffic, and high living expenses. So, in the last decade, almost 100,000 residents decided to try their luck in other cities.
People are choosing more practical living in cities such as Phoenix, Arizona, and San Diego. It turns out that people are not affected by only high living expenses but because of a rising homeless population as well. At the same time, LA has around 60,000 homeless people. Interestingly, at the same time, LS has grown by 4.1%.
1. Chicago, Illinois – 296,320 Migrations
It may seem unusual to see Chicago on this list since so many people from other cities are running to Chicago. Still, Windy City natives are not impressed with Chicago anymore.
The country’s third-biggest city is shorter for 296,320 its residents who went to sunny Phoenix. It seems that people prefer sunny climates. In addition to the colder weather, people are tired of expensive living, property and amenities tax, and the education system. Chicago also has its fair share of crime.