Americans Migrating to Smaller Cities With Lower Median Home Values

July 13, 2023

Gravy Analytics has released The State of U.S. Population Movement Report, which analyzes how the nation’s population has changed between Q1 2020 and Q1 2023. With emphasis on the top 10 counties that gained and lost the most in terms of population and explaining the trends seen across the 10 most populous states, the report found that consumers overwhelmingly moved to smaller markets with a lower average cost of housing.

Location intelligence insights from Gravy’s report revealed consumers are making the most of their income by moving to counties that have a median house value of $279,000, which is an estimated 38% lower than the median house value of those counties that are losing population.

Key Findings:
  • What once was considered a vacation destination is now where consumers are calling home. Previously identified vacation spots such as Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, the many beaches of Brevard County, Florida, and Muskegon, Michigan, are seeing permanent residents that value the opportunities to explore and relax in a vacation destination year-round.
  • Consumers still enjoy the feel of a city, but on a smaller scale. While the larger metro areas are seeing population losses at a more significant rate, that doesn’t mean consumers are ready to give up city living altogether, but rather are seeking the same atmosphere on a smaller (and more cost effective) scale. With plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, smaller cities like Greensboro, NC, Augusta, GA, Scranton, PA, and El Paso, Texas, are seeing population growth.
  • As a result of this shift in population, local economies can expect to see a much-needed boost in business. As local businesses continue to bounce back from losses brought on by the pandemic, the resurgence of people to these smaller communities could be just the thing to reinvigorate local economies. Consumers working remotely are taking their substantial salaries from previous big city jobs, increasing median household incomes and bringing more spending to these areas.

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