A Millennial Exodus from America’s Cities?

A Millennial Exodus from America’s Cities?
AP Photo/John Minchillo
From the COVID-19 pandemic altering work patterns such that many Americans are leaving cities for more spacious environs to a spate of powerful narratives like Grace Olmstead’s new treatise on younger Americans moving back to the rural communities they were once encouraged to leave, considerable focus has been paid of late to Millennial Americans moving to small towns and the rural countryside. These narratives make sense. Research has regularly shown that both soci0-economic opportunities and values in these areas are very strong, and similar to those in urban areas.

The question that remains unanswered, however, is how widespread this sylvan and small-town Main Street USA ideal is for younger Americans. New survey data collected in the midst of the pandemic make it unquestionably clear that Millennials are deeply split in their choices, but that, contrary to many narratives which describe them as overwhelming urbanites, big skies and small towns are very much desired by a significant number of younger Americans,

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