Vast Numbers Of People Relocating To Small Towns All Over America

Vast Numbers Of People Relocating To Small Towns All Over America

Many small towns are absolutely booming as wave after wave of Big City Refugees comes pouring in

By Michael Snyder | The Economic Collapse blog

In recent years, Americans have been fleeing our largest cities in unprecedented numbers, and many of them have decided to settle down in quiet little towns all over the country. 

There are many reasons why this is happening, and I will highlight several of them below.  If this trend continues, what will our major metropolitan areas look like?  Violence, theft, drugs, homelessness and international migration have all risen to crisis levels and are putting a tremendous amount of strain on our core urban areas.  Meanwhile, many small towns are absolutely booming as wave after wave of big city refugees comes pouring in.

People have been leaving large metropolitan areas for a long time, but once the pandemic arrived that trend greatly accelerated

In the three years before the pandemic, counties in metro areas with at least 1 million residents lost a total 200,000 or so residents annually to other regions, after figuring both people moving in and leaving, according to the Goldman report. After COVID, those losses vaulted to 750,000 in 2021, 650,000 in 2022 and 550,000 in 2023, according to Goldman and Census data. The numbers reflect annual changes through July of each year.

A separate study by Lombard shows the domestic migration losses were concentrated in the largest metro areas with more than 4 million residents. Those cities shed a total 400,000 residents annually before the pandemic and have lost 820,000, 707,000 and 591,000 residents, respectively, over the past three years.

And it is being reported that last year small towns became “the nation’s top destination for domestic migrants for the first time in decades”

Last year, about 266,000 of the big city refugees moved to metro areas with populations of 250,000 to 1 million and about 291,000 moved to areas with populations under 250,000. That made those small towns the nation’s top destination for domestic migrants for the first time in decades, Lombard says.

In 2023, the New York City metro area lost 204,000 residents; Los Angeles, 119,000; and Chicago, 64,000, according to Census and Moody’s.

So why is this happening?

Well, there are a number of reasons why so many people are relocating to small towns these days.

For many, the quality of life in big U.S. cities has become utterly deplorable.  For example, one young Chicago mother recently had to wait for hours for a police officer to show up after masked robbers entered her home…

A Chicago mom who called 911 during a terrifying break-in was left on her own for hours — with dispatchers telling her to call her local representative to demand more police funding.

Michelle called the emergency hotline six times after coming face-to-face with two masked bandits, only for the strained supervisor to tell her the city’s severe budget cuts had left them with a bare-bones staff.

“A gentleman got on and said sorry to say we have no units to send you … then there was an awkward pause,” Michelle told NBC Chicago Wednesday, declining to share her name or face while her would-be robbers are still on the loose.

I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Chicago at this point.

Of course the exact same thing could be said about most of our other large cities.

Another reason why a lot of Americans are choosing to relocate has to do with taxes.

There has been a mass exodus out of “high tax states”, and Massachusetts is one of those that is being hit really hard

Massachusetts is in danger of losing nearly $1 billion in annual revenue over the coming years as high state taxes trigger an exodus of wealthy residents.

Since 2013, migration out of Massachusetts has seen an “alarming” 1,100% increase to more than 39,000 people, according to new findings published by Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. If the trend continues, more than 96,000 residents making a cumulative $19.2 billion in adjusted gross income will leave the state by 2030.

The study estimates those departures would cost Massachusetts about $961 million in income tax revenue each year.

In my rankings of all 50 U.S. states, I have Massachusetts all the way down at number 44.

The cost of living crisis that we are currently facing is another factor that is motivating vast numbers of Americans to relocate.

At this point, we are being told that Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the entire nation…

Imagine stepping into a world where your paycheck stretches like bubblegum and the promise of Southern charm meets you at every corner. Welcome to Mississippi, a land where the living is easy, the cost of living is easier, and every quirk adds color to the canvas of daily life. Here, your financial aspirations can don a superhero cape, albeit in a landscape peppered with challenges that keep things interesting.

One of the reasons why Mississippi has such a low cost of living is because average home prices are the lowest in the country

Mississippi’s housing costs are the lowest in the nation. Home prices range from $32,000 to $240,000 depending on the city, with an average of $162,292.

But even though it has such a low cost of living, I don’t really like Mississippi as a place to live during the chaotic times that are coming.

In fact, in my rankings of all 50 U.S. states I have Mississippi all the way down at number 33.

Ultimately, the cost of living is only a minor consideration when it comes to choosing a place to live during the extremely difficult years that are ahead of us.

Much more importantly, you will want a location that has like-minded people, that has a low population density, that has a low risk of experiencing major natural disasters, and that is not near any important military targets.

Unfortunately, such areas have become very popular in recent years and home prices are going through the roof.  For instance, the median home price in Bozeman, Montana has risen to about $770,000

Nowhere has the affordability crisis been felt as acutely as in Bozeman, a city of about 56,000 not far from Yellowstone National Park and the upscale Big Sky skiing community. Bozeman, where the median home sells for about $770,000, has had so many out-of-state arrivals over the years that Montanans sometimes refer to it as “Boz Angeles.”

As high-end rentals in Bozeman spring up next to historic homes and new arrivals snap them up, a smattering of tents and RVs have begun to populate the outskirts of town: homeless residents priced out by rising rents.

Many longtime Montanans bristle at the newcomers, and bumper stickers proclaiming some version of “Montana Is Full” abound, occasionally with an expletive attached. Some locals blame the popular television show “Yellowstone” for romanticizing the Mountain West, luring people to the state.

A lot of Americans now find themselves priced out of many of the most desirable communities in the country, and that is extremely unfortunate.

If you are considering relocating to another part of the nation, I would encourage you to do it soon.

Because global events are starting to really go haywire, and the clock is ticking.


A note from Michael: My new book entitled “Chaos” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on, and you can subscribe to my Substack newsletter at


(TLB) published this article from by Michael Snyder | The Economic Collapse blog

Header featured image (edited) credit: Small town pix/org. Snyder article

Emapasis added by (TLB)



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