Feb 8, 2023 - News

More people are moving out of Chicago

Inbound moving rate to major U.S. metros, 2022
Data: NAR analysis of USPS data; Chart: Axios Visuals

People aren't moving to big city centers to big city centers like Chicago as they used to, even as employers ramp up calls to return to the office, reports Axios' Sami Sparber.

Why it matters: Affordability is still drawing folks to cheaper and less populous areas, particularly those in the booming Sun Belt.

Driving the news: A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows Chicago and other major metro areas such as New York and San Francisco saw more people leaving than moving in.

  • Instead, people fled to locales in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Zoom in: The report shows that, from 2021 to 2022, Illinois lost 0.8% of its population, about 141,000 people.

  • Percentage-wise our losses were on par with Louisiana and were outpaced only by New York state.
  • The states with the biggest population growth were Florida, Idaho and South Carolina.

What they're saying: "Pre-pandemic, we had a different trend. People wanted to move to big city centers," Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research at the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors, tells Axios.

  • More people are moving to those cities compared with 2021, but "we're not there yet," Evangelou says of metro areas regaining the population that fled.

Between the lines: Across the board, the report found, fewer people moved last year, continuing a trend from 2021.

  • The report analyzed the United States Postal Service's change-of-address data to spot migration trends.
  • Nearly 70% of U.S. ZIP codes posted fewer inbound moves in 2022 compared with 2021, according to the data.
  • The slowdown has persisted as droves of people sought more space and a cheaper cost of living during the pandemic.

Monica's thought bubble: I like a city that delivers four distinct seasons. So I'm just fine right here in Chicago.

Justin's thought bubble: They do like to put these studies out in the winter, don't they?


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