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Where Are Young People Moving: The Small Town Relocation Trend

A trend has quietly grown over the last decade, especially among those in their 20s and 30s moving to small towns. Millennials, younger Gen Xers, and older Gen Zers are leaving big cities for small-town life. Since 2014, around 30,000 city dwellers aged 24-40 have fled the city rat race yearly for small towns

The pandemic accelerated this trend of young people moving to small towns in their 20s and 30s. CNBC reports 32% of Gen Z and 26% of millennials relocated to smaller towns and rural areas during the pandemic. Key reasons include being closer to family/friends (31%), more affordable living (27%), or working remotely (17%).

Let's dive deeper into why young people move to small towns:



Peasley Boise Movers cites several driving factors:

Less Stressful Life

The sheer volume of people, energy, and city hustle adds stress to everything. Add kids, and getting anywhere becomes far more difficult. Small towns avoid this.

Lower Cost of Living

Housing, entertainment, groceries, parking - almost everything costs more in cities. Childcare alone  can be nearly as much as a mortgage payment. Paying $18 for a burger, $500 monthly for two parking spots, or $250 for a haircut/color leaves little savings room.

Many millennials, younger Gen Xers, and older Gen Zers in their 20s and 30s aim to buy houses and start families. But this dream may be out of reach in the city, despite good incomes. The culprit? Crushing student debt. According to the Education Data Initiative, in 2021, federal student loan debt topped out at $1.57 trillion, with Gen X carrying an average of $45,095 per person and Millennials $38,877 on average. Gen Z's averages $17,388 so far.

Burdened by debt, these young people can't afford the city home prices. But in small towns, they suddenly get more house and land than imagined, while entertainment/costs are lower - allowing them to pursue the American dream.

Increased Remote Work

The pandemic enabled remote work like never before. Companies realized jobs can be done remotely, and many employees don’t want offices anymore. Combine this with broadband expanding to rural areas/small towns (aided by government-funded incentives), and people can now live in the country while working for city companies from home offices. 

Life's slower pace appeals to many young people in their 20s and 30s starting families or seeking an exit from the rat race. Moving to small towns/rural areas now allows keeping city jobs, earning great livings, and avoiding urban stress - the best of all worlds!

Ready for life at a slower-paced life? Contact us today!

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