The State of U.S. Population Movement Report, published by Gravy Analytics, examines the shifts in the country’s population from Q1 2020 to Q1 2023. The report highlights the top 10 countries that experienced the most significant gains and losses in population and delves into the patterns observed in the 10 most populous states. The findings indicate a prevailing trend of consumers relocating to smaller markets characterized by more affordable housing options.
Gravy’s report on location intelligence uncovers that consumers are strategically utilizing their income by relocating to counties with a median house value of $279,000. In contrast, counties witnessing a decrease in population have significantly higher median house values..
Even though consumers opted for counties with more affordable housing, the median household income in these smaller counties was only 9% lower than in larger cities. This indicates that people were still able to earn a comparable income in smaller cities, where their funds could be stretched further.
Increasingly, cities with a lower cost of living situated outside of metropolitan areas are gaining popularity, especially among remote and hybrid workers. These individuals are choosing to exchange the hustle and bustle of city life for a more spacious and budget-friendly lifestyle. With work-from-home and hybrid working arrangements becoming a permanent fixture beyond pandemic restrictions, consumers are seizing the opportunity to depart from major cities in favor of more affordable suburban areas and smaller cities that offer comparable conveniences at a reduced cost.
Gravy’s report highlighted a substantial migration of New York City residents towards regions in western and central New York, moving away from the metropolitan area. On the other side of the state, Erie County emerged as the county with the most significant population growth. This growth is attributed to the county’s median house value, which is less than one-fifth of Manhattan’s, standing at just under $180,000.
In California, a similar pattern emerged as residents departed from trendy Los Angeles County to settle in Riverside County, where the median house value is almost 48% lower. This trend was observed across all the top 10 most populous states in the U.S., with consumers relocating away from major cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, and Charlotte, NC. Instead, they opted for smaller counties and cities in the surrounding regions.