Young families continued to leave cities last year – but at a slower pace

The migration of young families from cities slowed down in the year from July 2021 to 2022, compared to the previous year, according to an analysis of census data by the Economic Innovation Group.

Key findings: The analysis shows that from July 2020 to July 2021, the number of children under 5 in large urban counties decreased by 3.7% (over 235,000 kids).
* The drop for the next year, from July 2021 to July 2022, was slower at 1.8%.
* This drop was most pronounced in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, where the young children’s population is over 10% smaller in July 2022 than in April 2020.

Trends explained: The data suggests a break from migration trends occurring before the pandemic, and raises questions about whether this might be a permanent shift.
* Influential factors include remote working, the effects of the pandemic, and local housing and job markets.
* The attrition of young families from cities is part of a longer-term trend driven by falling birth rates and a shift toward suburbanization that began in the mid-2010s.

Regional variations: While large urban counties, in general, witnessed a population decline in children under the age of five, there were regional differences.
* Exurban counties were the only type that had a net increase in the young children population.
* There was actually net growth in the under-5 population in urban counties in the Southeast in the last year.

Looking ahead: It is still too early to tell whether these shifts will be long-term.
* Future census data could provide more detailed insights into individual family movements.
* Research associates suggest that pandemic moves could be more lasting, as families tend to put a lot of consideration into moves, often to homes where they plan on raising children for several years.

View original article on NPR

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