Inside the Nationwide Exodus from City to Suburb


New York Post

In the coming years, a sight like this in New York City may become rare, as many are fleeing the city.

  From 2010 to 2018, the average American suburb grew in population density by 5.1%. With American megacities such as Los Angeles and New York losing residents due to the pandemic— Are we currently in a second suburbanization?

  In the last year, New York City’s unemployment rate has increased to over 12%, which is one of the reasons why the city has lost over 300,000 residents in this time span. Although life in the city may be losing its appeal, Jayden Olmeda, a former New York City and Atlanta resident sees the positives in urban living.

  “I like the city more because I like all the action.” The Sanderson High School 10th grader added, “Even when I lived in Atlanta, I loved the city because you understand that it’s something you get from the city that you can’t get from the suburbs.”

  On average, Americans seem to enjoy suburban living more, but that does not go for all of the country.  Charlotte, NC has enjoyed a 24% growth in population since 2010, which is quite the contrast to the hallmark of American megacities, New York City.

  “I’d rather live in suburban Raleigh than a big city like New York,” Spartan senior Claire Southern shared. “People live so close together, and that is something I do not like.”

  Even though bank towers rise, stadiums are being built and restaurants are opening at the heart of downtown areas in many cities. This has seemingly led more people to the suburbs, as the average person is content with a 15- 20 minute commute. Evidence of such trends are shown in suburbs such as Cary, NC and Matthews, NC; both with gradual, but steady population growth since 2014.

  “Living space is taking a priority over location for many who are currently searching for an apartment, leading tenants to the suburbs, where unit sizes and communal areas can be larger.” The National Director of Research Services for Marcus & Millichap, John Chang, writes in Think Realty, “Additionally, entertainment, nightlife, and other urban amenities that typically entice renters to downtown apartments are closed or operating at limited capacity, stunting demand for nearby living options.”

  With a multitude of societal tendencies and political decisions affecting this current trend of escaping the city to the suburbs, one may wonder if this will continue, or if it was simply just a way of coping with current events such as the pandemic. The answer will be unveiled hopefully sooner rather than later.