Boston Appears on List of Cities Americans Are Leaving the Fastest

Apparently, Bostonians are seeking greener pastures.
boston in november

Photo via iStock

Feel like everyone you know is moving to another city? They are, sort of.

A new study by apartment-finding platform Abodo set out to find the places Americans are leaving the fastest. Analysts looked at the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data from September 2016 to find out how domestic migration is impacting the top 50 most populous metro areas in the country.

Out of those 50 areas, Boston clocked in as the 17th city where residents are moving out the fastest. It turns out 6.12 percent of Bostonians left the city between July 2014 and July 2015.

When you take into account the amount of people moving into the city (hello, students), Boston experienced a -0.31 percent population change. Through that lens, Boston ranks as the 15th city with the largest overall decrease in population.

Is this reason to be alarmed? Not exactly—America’s larger cities are seeing a higher degree of change. Chicago ranked as the top city with the greatest population loss due to net migration (the number of departing residents minus the number of new arrivals) with -0.84 percent. New York came in second at 0.82 percent.

“Experts have pointed at the rapidly growing cost of housing [in Boston], which has pushed a large number of residents out and has also prevented new people from moving into the city,” writes Adobo’s research team. “Job opportunities are available and the economy is solid, but the housing costs are starting to become an extreme burden to Boston residents and those hoping to move to Boston to start their next chapter in life.”

Adobo notes people are moving out of some of the county’s largest cities and coastal cities for places like Denver, Austin, and Oklahoma City, perhaps drawn to them by lower costs of living. While it’s hard to say moving inland is a trend just yet, it is safe to assume Americans enjoy moving from place to place—research shows it’s an average of more than 11 times during one’s lifetime, to be exact.


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com