People Are Abandoning These 10 Big Cities: Here’s Where They’re Moving

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When home sweet home starts to turn sour, it’s time to take on the challenges and look for more promising places.

During the second quarter of this year, large numbers of residents in some of the country’s largest cities threw in the towel and decided to leavereports Redfin.

It is likely that high housing costs were a factor for many of these departing citizens. According to Redfin:

“The housing market has slowed following a pandemic-driven buying spree, with home sales plummeting and supply starting to rise due to rising mortgage rates, high house prices, inflation and a faltering economy. But people who box still the means to buy continue to move at unprecedented levels, largely because soaring housing prices make expensive subways even more out of reach.

Here are the major cities that Redfin users are abandoning in droves – and where they’re heading.

1. San Francisco

San Francisco Streetcar
Tono Balaguer /

The net outflow of Metro residents in the:

  • Second quarter 2022: 48,718
  • Second quarter 2021: 45,703

Housing costs are skyrocketing in Golden Gate City, as they have been for many years. So it’s no wonder people are leaving, even though San Francisco is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.

Redfin says that of those leaving the Bay Area, Sacramento is the top destination.

2.Los Angeles

Road traffic in Los Angeles, California
Sean Pavone /

The net outflow of Metro residents in the:

  • Second quarter 2022: 40,632
  • Second quarter 2021: 33,712

An exodus from the City of Angels that began last year has accelerated in 2022. Residents leaving most often gravitate toward San Diego.

In fact, California as a state has lost some of its luster. Population growth has stagnated since 2017, resulting in the loss of a seat in the US Congress – the first time this has happened in the state’s 170-year history.


3. New York

Luciano Mortula LGM /

The net outflow of Metro residents in the:

  • Second quarter 2022: 35 165
  • Second quarter 2021: 48,731

New Yorkers fleeing New York do not stay in the Empire State. The vast majority, they’re heading to Philadelphia, Redfin says.

But there may be a silver lining for the Big Apple: Unlike San Francisco and Los Angeles, the exodus from New York appears to have slowed considerably.

The rest of the top 10

United States Capitol
Orhan Cam /

Here are the top 10 other cities for net resident outflows during the second quarter and the destinations they moved to most often:

  • washington d.c.: 24,492 (first destination: Salisbury, Maryland)
  • Seattle: 18,594 (Phoenix)
  • Boston: 12,493 (Portland, Maine)
  • Detroit: 7,334 (Cleveland)
  • denver: 5,635 (Chicago)
  • Chicago: 4,769 (Cape Coral, Florida)
  • Minneapolis: 2,795 (Chicago)

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