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Urban Exodus: Census says it’s real.

  • 7 min read

More Than 300K NYers Fled City During COVID Pandemic

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 300,000 New Yorkers packed up and moved away from the city between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. The most populated metropolitan area  in the US ( New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA) experienced a mass migration. You can read the full U.S. Census Bureau study here.

Chances are they were looking to exchange their tight little 800 sqft apartment for a bigger space, a house with a yard where everyone in the family could enjoy privacy and nature. During the pandemic, people all over the world were confined to their own homes for large periods of time, and for people living in big cities, most of them were green with envy towards everyone who had a big yard to step into. The inability to walk outside and get fresh air was eye-opening for city dwellers, and many made the decision to go live with family or move out of the city, but it wasn’t just the pandemic that cause this trend.

Trading Urban Life for Fresh Air

Over the last few years, cities have seen more people leaving than coming in, so the population size has been decreasing with time. Even for those who aren’t moving out of the city, making more of an effort to reconnect with nature has become a priority. Perks of the city life are being traded for lower cost of living and space. Besides, the city is always there to enjoy without having to live there!

Why People are Leaving

Making the decision to move is a personal one, but there are a few larger factors and events that have caused more and more people to say sayonara to city life. These factors may not have solely been brought on by the pandemic, but many of them were accelerated due to the last couple of years with Covid-19.

1) Flexible Working Arrangements

Before the pandemic, there was a handful of organizations around the US that offered remote work, but those jobs were difficult to find and even harder to land. The pandemic forced most businesses to learn how to navigate their industry with virtual work; many employees were completely remote for over a year. This shift to remote work showed workers the benefits of it, and now they don’t want to give it up.

More and more companies are offering fully remote positions or more flexible work arrangements, so living next to the office in a big city isn’t as much of a priority now. This employee revelation also led to the Great Resignation, a mass exodus of people leaving their jobs to find roles with better pay and more favorable work arrangements. The message from employees is clear: they will no longer be forming their life around work, instead, work should fit with their life.

2) Rising Real Estate Prices

Right now, real estate prices in both the buying and rental markets are sky-high. While it’s a difficult time to purchase for most buyers, young adults look at the options in their price range within a city, then look at their options in the same price range outside of the city and see that their money can go much further. People want a yard to call their own, and if they are going to be paying high prices regardless, they are not as willing to compromise for a small NYC apartment.

3) Connection with Nature

There’s nothing like being trapped in an 800 sq. ft. apartment for months on end to make a person realize how important sunshine and fresh air are in life. The pandemic was eye-opening, and many homebuyers vowed that they would never be without a yard again. Most city living options can’t offer much outdoor space, so people had to leave, and they did.

Even without a plan to purchase a home with a big yard, people of all ages were reminded how important it is to connect with nature. With newly-common flexible work arrangements, hopping around to short-term rentals for a month at a time has become popular. As long as there is WIFI, there’s no reason you can’t work from a mountainside cabin or a geodesic dome in the desert. This trend is booming right now, and the short-term rental market can’t keep up fast enough!

4) Healthy Pace of Life

A “healthy life” looks different for everyone, but for many, it involves taking walks during the day, trying their hand at a home garden, and having a quiet place to take mental breaks. These things are hard in cities, so people traded convenience and activity-focused lifestyles for slower, more personal lives in the suburbs or mountains. Sure, many people love living in the city and will stay there for a long time, but many more people are aligned with their values more clearly and decided city life wasn’t worth it to them.

Living Off-Grid

Many people are choosing to replace city life with a spacious home in the suburbs, but some are choosing to go even more extreme and live off-grid. They packed up everything, bought a cozy cabin somewhere in Montana, and plan on catching every sunrise while they wake up early to water the garden and take a morning walk. These off-grid dwellers are becoming more common at rapid rates, making it difficult to keep up with the demand.

If you’re looking to live far away from civilization, consider using a geodome as your first dwelling while you get something more permanent set up. Then, you can rent out the dome for those city-dwellers who need a break to have some rental income on the side, helping you sustain your dream life.

Geodomes are the Future

Adding extra space is a great financial investment, but it can also be a wonderful investment in your happiness. Maybe you always wanted an art studio with great natural life or a greenhouse in your backyard. Our geodomes are the perfect structures for that! Our geodesic dome kits are easy to assemble, incredibly sturdy, and will last a very long time. If you’re a suburb-lover, you can use it as a guest house. If you live out in the middle of nowhere, you can rent it out to visitors.

Whatever your situation may be, we guarantee you’ll love having a geodesic dome on your property. They’re great for waking up to the morning light and falling asleep to the night sky, and isn’t this what everyone wants after all? If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that our happiness matters. So, do what’s best for you. Live where you want, travel where you want, add five greenhouse geodomes to your property if you want. Life is short, and we only have time to be happy!


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