Here on Self Made, we have already covered some of the best cities to retire to. People are flocking to those places for a better life. But what about the cities that everyone is leaving? In today’s world, the biggest and most expensive cities with a lot of job opportunities are not necessarily the best places to live. According to the RedFin Migration Report, a whopping 25% of people living in metro areas were looking to escape in 2018. Here are 30 American cities that people are escaping from in droves.
30. Spokane, Washington
The city of Spokane has a lot going for it: beautiful nature trails, wineries, the list goes on and on. This is both a blessing and a curse. People who could only afford to rent are being priced out, and they are forced to leave. The city becomes more and more expensive. Sadly, the city has a large homeless population. Crime is also higher than 186% of the population.
29. Fairbanks, Alaska
When most people think of Alaska, they think about beautiful scenic nature. However, the city of Fairbanks is surprisingly dangerous. It has more crime than 91% of the population, and one in 20 people has been a victim of violent crime.
28. Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, so it has plenty of job opportunities and things to do. The population has actually gone up overall, since 2010. However, in recent years, the crime rate has also soared. The area is also hit with a lot of tornadoes, For these reasons, more people are beginning to search for homes elsewhere.
27. Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Crime in Johnstown, PA is higher than 86% of the US population. According to AreaVibes, it gets an “F” rating in nearly every category, including employment, housing, and schools.
26. Chico, California
According to USA Today, Chico has one of the fastest growing crime rates. There is a big gap between the rich and the poor. According to some locals, the cartel has also become a huge problem in the area. With the drug crimes and substance abuse issues in Chico, it’s no wonder that crime rates are scaring residents away.
25. Vineland, New Jersey
The city of Vineland, New Jersey is relatively cheap to live in, but once you see the condition of the area, you’ll understand why. The roads are filled with potholes, and crime is extremely high. The city is also dirty, with older facilities and trash all over the place. The one and only good thing about Vineland is that there are a lot of places to eat, a mall, and even a drive-in movie theater. The unemployment rate is over 6%, which is twice the national average.
24. Syracuse, New York
Every single year, the city of Syracuse, New York gets a whopping 10 feet of snow. Yikes. The population has only dropped less than 1% over the past ten years, which isn’t so bad. However, the unemployment rate is twice the national average. The median household income is also only $31,000. According to AreaVibes, the crime rate is 48% above the national average, which only adds insult to injury.
23. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Unfortunately, Baton Rouge, Louisiana has a very high rate of crime, and the residents are beginning to feel uncomfortable. There is also a lot of garbage lying around on the freeway and other public spaces. According to BestPlaces.com, the unemployment rate is 4.7%, which is higher than the national average. The average income is also just shy of $24,000. Put all of those factors together, and you can see why so many people are eager to leave.
22. Mobile, Alabama
According to BestPlace.com, the population of Mobile, Alabama has dropped 2% in the last ten years. That’s not a dramatic dip, but it’s a sign that the population is shrinking instead of growing. The unemployment rate is very high, at over 5%, which is more than the national average. The median household income is just shy of $40,000, but the average home costs $121,800. This means that many people cannot afford to own property, or they are struggling just to make it by. There are far cheaper places to live in Alabama, and people may be looking to commute into the city, instead.
21. Dayton, Ohio
Homes are incredibly affordable in Dayton, Ohio, but the poverty rate is three times the national average. Since 2010, the city has dropped 3.2% of the total population. The unemployment rate is 5.3%, and the median household income is only $28,000 per year.
20. Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama is losing its citizens. The population has dropped 2% since 2010. It is more dangerous than 95% of the USA. Yikes.
19. Omaha, Nebraska
The city of Omaha is the biggest in Nebraska, and it has become famous for being the home of Warren Buffet. In his documentary, he said that he was born and raised in Omaha, and he loves it enough to stay there the rest of his life. It also has a great cost of living. However, the crime rate has gone up by 10% in recent years, and an average of 1 in 23 people has become a victim of violent crime- meaning that pretty much everyone knows someone who has been mugged or robbed.
18. Eugene, Oregon
Property taxes and the cost of living are very expensive in Eugene, Oregon. The unemployment rate is at 4%, which is not too drastically high above the national average. Crime is 50% higher than the national average.
17. Atlantic City, New Jersey
If you love to gamble and enjoy the night life, Atlantic City is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey. However, the beaches are the entire city is dirty and full of trash. There is also a very high crime rate, and a bad school system. According to Neighborhood Scout, Atlantic City is more dangerous than 96% of the country. Since 2010, the city population has dropped by 2.5%.
16. Detroit, Michigan
At the peak of Detroit’s population in 1950, there were 1.8 million people living and working there. Today, there are only 673,000 in the total population. Even since 2010, the population as dropped over 10%. It is also famous for a high crime rate, abandoned houses, drug use, and a bad school system. There are some people who are attempting to bring the city back to its former glory, so only time will tell if things improve in Detroit.
15. Salisbury, Maryland
The crime rate in Salisbury, Maryland is double the national average, and the school systems are not so hot, either.
14. Jacksonville, North Carolina
If you visit Jacksonville, North Carolina, you can expect to find a museum, beaches, and a zoo. However, that doesn’t make it the best city to live in. According to Neighborhood Scout, Jacksonville, North Carolina is more dangerous than 84% of the rest of the country.
13. Rockford, Illinois
Nestled in Northern Illinois, Rockford has been called the “Forest City”. They have loads of gardens and outdoor activities. According to Redfin, 324 people searching for properties in Rockford, Illinois were looking to leave in 2018. This may not sound like a lot, because the city has a total population of over 147,000 people. However, over the past 10 years, the city has lost 4% of its total population.
12. Houston, Texas
Texas is so huge, it is practically its own country. According to Redfin, 26.5% of residents living in Houston are looking to move, and it most likely has to do with the flooding that occurred in the past few years. But these people are still loyal to Texas. It’s not too surprising that most of them are looking to move to Austin, which is one of the hippest cities in the state.
11. Washington, DC
According to RedFin, 10.7% of people searching for homes were looking outside of Washington DC, and almost all of them wanted to go to New York City. Maybe they all believe in the dream that in New York, anything can happen. Living in the nation’s capital is just as expensive as NYC, so for anyone who is looking to move, it is almost an even trade-off. Most likely, they are looking for new employment opportunities.
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A whopping 38.5% of the total population of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is looking to leave. The top city that they consider moving to is Chicago. According to BestPlaces, the unemployment rate is 4%, which is only slightly above the national average. According to Area Vibes, it got an “F” grade in crime, job opportunities, and schools. For all of these reasons, Milwaukee might not be a very good place to raise a family, which is why so many people are considering leaving.
9. Chicago, Illinois
A total of 9.4% of the total city population of Chicago is looking to leave- Or, they are at least searching for property on Redfin. The number one dream destination people are searching for is in Los Angeles. Considering that homes in LA are ridiculously expensive, it’s hard to imagine that nearly 10% of Chicago can actually afford the millions of dollars it takes to own property there. It’s more likely that people living in Chicago are sick of the bitterly cold and winder winters, and they are dreaming of living in sunny California.
8. Charleston, West Virginia
According to AreaVibes, crime in Charleston, West Virginia is 234% higher than the rest of the country. SAY WHAT?! It would seem that people are sick of the violence, because the total population has dropped 4% since 2010.
7. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is famous for being the home of Disney World, and it is a go-to vacation destination on the east coast of the United States. However, since it’s such a popular place, the real estate is incredibly expensive. There are loads of other towns in Florida that are more affordable. So it should not come as a shock to hear that 46.9% of Orlando residents are searching for property elsewhere. However, most of these people are probably still looking for the excitement, because the majority of them want to move to Miami.
6. Denver, Colorado
Technically, the population of Denver, Colorado has grown over the past 10 years. The city has loads of fun things to do, and it is in close proximity to several national pakr.s However, nearly 24% of residents in Denver, Colorado are searching for property to purchase elsewhere. The top go-to-city is Seattle, Washington.
5. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut
New Haven is famous for being the home of the Ivy League Yale University. You would think that a town with such a posh reputation would be filled with high-class people, but it turns out that it’s actually the opposite. The crime rate in New-Haven Milford is higher than 77% of the country. There is also an unemployment rate of 5%.
4. Rochester, New York
The population has dropped 1.2% since 2010. The unemployment rate is 6.2%, which is very high, compared to the national average. The median price of buying a home is just $73,000, which is very affordable compared to other parts of the state. However, the average household income is just barely over $30,000, which means many people cannot afford to buy these properties, even if they are cheap. On top of all of that, it has an awful crime rate. According to Area Vibes, it is more dangerous to live there than 71% of the country. Yikes.
3. Los Angeles, California
Hello, Hollywood! So many young hopeful people move to Los Angeles in an attempt to start a career in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, the city has a reputation for being cut-throat. Since it is so expensive, it is also necessary for people to find a high-paying job relatively quickly. Otherwise, they’re forced to leave. On top of that, the cost of buying a home in Los Angeles County is ridiculously expensive. You truly do need to be a millionaire to buy a house there. The top two destinations Los Angeles residents are looking to purchase homes are in San Diego, California, which is close enough to commute to Los Angeles. The top out-of-state city they want to move to is Phoenix, Arizona.
2. New York, New York
For years, New York City has been put on a pedestal of being this amazing place where dreams come true. Some people truly do move there and have their “happily ever after”, but for the most part, the city is filled with workaholics who truly do never sleep. Once people hit their 30’s, they consider moving outside of the city for somewhere that is more affordable. According to Redfin, 34.7% of New Yorkers were looking to buy homes outside of NYC. The top go-to-location where they all want to move? That would be Boston.
1. San Francisco, California
Coming in at #1 on this list is San Francisco, California. The city is famous for its quaint trolleys and hipster vibes, but it is also one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Some feel that the cost is worth it, since there are loads of high-paying computer science jobs available in the nearby Silicon Valley. Over 29,000 people searched for homes outside of the city, which is the largest number found in the study. People of San Francisco are mostly searching for jobs in Seattle, Washington. This is the home to Microsoft and Amazon.com. It is significantly cheaper to live there, but they still have plenty of opportunities for work.