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Census: Americans Are Fleeing Big Cities
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Apr 20, 12:15 AM ET

Americans are leaving the nation's big cities in search of cheaper homes and open spaces farther out.

Nearly every large metropolitan area had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004, with a few exceptions in the South and Southwest, according to a report being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Northeasterners are moving South and West. West Coast residents are moving inland. Midwesterners are chasing better job markets. And just about everywhere, people are escaping to the outer suburbs, also known as exurbs.

"It's a case of middle class flight, a flight for housing affordability," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "But it's not just white middle class flight, it's Hispanics and blacks, too."

The Census Bureau measured domestic migration — people moving within the United States — from 1990 to 2000, and from 2000 to 2004. The report provides the number of people moving into and out of each state and the 25 largest metropolitan areas.

The states that attracted the most new residents: Florida, Arizona and Nevada. The states that lost the most: New York, California and Illinois.

Among the 25 largest metropolitan areas, 18 had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — the three biggest metropolitan areas — lost the most residents to domestic moves. The New York metropolitan area had a net loss of more than 210,000 residents a year from 2000 to 2004.

Richard Florida, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said smaller, wealthier households are replacing larger families in many big metropolitan areas.

That drives up housing prices even as the population shrinks, chasing away even more members of the middle class.

"Because they are bidding up prices, they are forcing some people out to the exurbs and the fringe," Florida said. "Other people are forced to make moves in response to that. I don't have any sense of this abating."

The metropolitan area that attracted the most new residents was Riverside, Calif., which has been siphoning residents from Los Angeles for years. The Riverside area, which includes San Bernardino and Ontario, had a net gain of 81,000 people a year from 2000 to 2004.

Riverside has grown to become the 13th largest metropolitan area in the nation. It's a short drive to several mountain ranges, and it's within driving distance of the beach. Locally, it is known as the Inland Empire.

"When you look at housing prices in Southern California, along the beaches and coastlines, you're able to obtain a very large home for a much lower price" in Riverside, said Cindy Roth, president and CEO of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

Homes in Riverside aren't cheap. The median price — the point at which half cost more and half cost less — was $374,200 in 2005. But they are less expensive than Los Angeles, where the median price was $529,000.

Other areas that attracted a lot of new residents also have relatively inexpensive homes, even if they are not the cheapest in the country. Phoenix, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth round out the top five metropolitan areas.

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On The Net:

Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
 

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^^ Um is it me or most americans cant afford to live in big american cities, just think about it Miami, LA, Manhattan, San Fransisco, Seattle, Boston. The Average person in my city should be able to afford around 200,000 for a home now think of those cities and if you can afford anything with that there that isnt a one room run down shack, thats why high prices drive sprawl.
 

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People crave space. They want 4000 square foot houses with huge yards, even if they don't need it, which is usually the case. Yes, one can move to a cookie cutter Texas exurb, but to what avail? This is a day and time when people forget the concept of community or civic pride, all holed up in their McMansions.
 

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Americans want more cheaper living space... and they can find it anywhere in this big country. In most big cities (like NYC) you can still find affordable homes, but the living space is smaller then elsewhere outside the city and the 'old suburbs'. Also people that move to 'small cities' move to bigger affordable homes in areas surrounding the 'downtown' area. There are also alot of small cities and big cities that keep adding districts so they keep gaining population in that manner. Other big cities (like NYC) can't never do that. Even though the whole metro is about 22 million people right now.
 

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krull said:
Americans want more cheaper living space... and they can find it anywhere in this big country. In most big cities (like NYC) you can still find affordable homes, but the living space is smaller then elsewhere outside the city and the 'old suburbs'. Also people that move to 'small cities' move to bigger affordable homes in areas surrounding the 'downtown' area. There are also alot of small cities and big cities that keep adding districts so they keep gaining population in that manner. Other big cities (like NYC) can't never do that. Even though the whole metro is about 22 million people right now.

That's absolutely correct.. In the early 1900's the migration was from the south to the North For Jobs and various opportunities. From the 1980's and now, people started migrating down south for the same reasons. In South Philly a decent size row home is going for 600k. In the Southeast NC, GEORGIA, Florida (most parts), etc.. I can have a swimming pool on a 1/2 acre to two acre lot.
 

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lol.... this isn't news. It's been happening for 55 years. I think you mis spoke when you said metropolitan areas though. Very few METRO areas are losing population, inner cities yes, but not the whole metro. The metro areas make up over 80% of America's population and that's only going to go up.
 

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Cheapness is relative though. Homes are ridiculously cheap in Texas; a respectable house with a sizable yard can be purchased for $150,000 here easily.
 

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As they can in some area of any state (except maybe CT NJ and CA) We are a HUGE country in land area compared to population. The whole western half of the lower 48 is essentially empty except for right along the coast and in a few population centers like Denver Phoenix and maybe Albuquerque, NM. And even some of the originaly settled areas along the east coast in New England remain very rural.
 

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My brother is working in Houston on a contract. He bought a house in Cinco Ranch because he couldn't believe how cheap it was. 3300 sq. ft. for under 200K. I live in Toronto, and my house is 15 feet wide. It would fetch around 500K (US). Good thing that Toronto (not sure about the rest of Canada) is bucking this trend. Vs. other large centers in the Northeast, it is still affordable here.
 

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It's really all a matter of what side you are looking from. If you are a first time buyer looking to buy a house, than the skyrocketing real estate costs throughout most of America sucks. But if you are a current homeowner, you are making thousands of dollars by sitting on your ass in you own house. lol
 

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Jue said:
People crave space. They want 4000 square foot houses with huge yards, even if they don't need it, which is usually the case. Yes, one can move to a cookie cutter Texas exurb, but to what avail? This is a day and time when people forget the concept of community or civic pride, all holed up in their McMansions.
This is not true at all in some places. For example, in Boston, the only reason people aren't buying houses is the fact that it cost way too much. It's not because people want bigger space, it's the fact that they can't even afford it. Even though Boston is building more and more condos which lowers the price per unit, people can't even afford the reduced price. That's one thing I hate about these cities. Sure they can reduce a housing unit from $1million to $500,000 but it doesn't matter if you can't even afford that price.
 

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How much square feet go in one square meter?
And...reading these prices, my god, are you all millionaires?
I rent a nice appartement in central Amsterdam (okay this was a thread about the US...) from 55 square meter for only 300 euro per month. And it's not a rundown shack but a social housing (as most houses here are) and in a very good state.
If I had to live in some suburbia I would die of boredom.
 

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Ow yeas and I forgot to ask, if you would like to rent a house in a bigger American city, how much would you have to pay? I am talking about a "normal" house now, not a rundown shack, neither a villa.
 

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^ grach 10.763 sq. feet goes into 1 square meter...so 55 square meter = 592.015 square foot which is barely the size of a small studio in most major US cities...most 1 bedroom apartments are larger then that...as for rents they vary differently from city to city so it depends.
 

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^There's an insane amount of demand for housing in the city center, Tom_Green. The prices are high because of it---> pushing many people out to the suburbs.
 

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Tom_Green said:
Why is the price for an apartment in the city center so high? The most people want to live in the suburb. So how are the high prices possible? I mean no demand = low prices?
:crazy:
 

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DonQui said:
hkskyline said:
Nearly every large metropolitan area had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004, with a few exceptions in the South and Southwest, according to a report being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
You have a bubble in the USA.
 
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