Study: Chicago, LA, Detroit top list of cities people are leaving

By Sommer Brokaw  |  July 5, 2018 at 2:33 PM
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July 5 (UPI) -- Two of the United States' largest cities topped a list Thursday of the cities that are losing the most residents to relocation.

The list was compiled by 24/7 Wall St. and USA Today, and evaluates cities based on population change and natural growth between 2010 and 2017, and median home value.

Chicago is ranked No. 1, Los Angeles is second and Detroit third. Chicago and Los Angeles are the second- and third-most populous cities in the United States, respectively.

Chicago's overall population slightly increased, but it lost nearly 300,000 residents to migration, the study said. Los Angeles lost nearly 94,000 and Detroit more than 54,000.

Around 40 million Americans move at least once each year, about 14 percent of the U.S. population, usually for betters jobs, more affordability or warmer weather. Since the Great Recession, tens of thousands of residents have left some cities.

"The story of the broader migration pattern in the U.S. is from Snow Belt to Sun Belt," Brookings Institute Demographer William Frey told USA Today. "That migration has slowed a little bit in the early part of the decade, when we were still dealing with the aftermath of the recession, but it's coming back."

St. Louis, Cleveland, Memphis, Tenn., Milwaukee, Flint, Mich., El Paso, Texas, and the New York City metro area filled out the top 10.

The study found residents mostly moved away from cities in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast over that 7-year span.

The cities listed at the bottom of the ranked 50 are Fairbanks, Ak., Johnstown, Pa., and Hinesville, Ga.

Last month, Detroit and Flint also appeared at the top of 24/7 Wall St.'s list of worst U.S. cities to live in. Cleveland, St. Louis and Memphis also made that list's top 10.

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