Over the past decade, many millennials have chosen to migrate from big cities to smaller towns. While housing prices and the cost of goods have steadily increased, wages have not. This makes staying afloat in a big city a strenuous and life-draining task. Now, more young people are leaving urban areas behind and looking toward the middle of the country.
The perks of relocating to small towns from metropolises such as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are bountiful. Young adults are swarming to more rural and suburban areas in search of affordable housing, peace of mind, and open spaces.
These modern day migrations are proving that millennials are willing to trade in the hustle and bustle of city life for the calmness of small town living. Here are a handful of reasons young adults are moving to small towns and and revitalizing rural communities.
1. The Daily City Grind is Tough
The day-to-day grind of the big city is difficult for anyone to keep up with. The work commute alone in cities like New York and Los Angeles is enough to fatigue even the most courageous of travelers. Want to pop out of work to grab food during your 30 minute lunch break? Better pack your own lunch or learn to love the greasy taco truck in the parking lot.
In metro areas, there are thousands of people who want your job and you have to fight to keep ahead. This fact has been causing many young adults to look for a way out of this malicious cycle.
Small towns can offer refuge from an otherwise frightening, ruthless and fast paced world. Starting new lives in areas that allow you to have time to “stop and smell the roses” can allow the self-focused millennials to improve their overall quality of life.
2. The Cost of Living is Lower
Many millennials are straddled with layers of debt, own very little savings, and dutifully entered the job market during an era of wage stagnation. After rent, bills, and groceries are paid for, there’s not much left for saving or entertainment.
Small towns cost less to live in all around. If you are paying less for groceries, rent, and energy, you will have more left over for a special trip or you could put a bit aside for the future.
3. It’s Easier to Start a Small Business
Larger cities have very saturated job markets, especially when it comes to businesses pertaining to the interests of millennials. 30-somethings are finding that in smaller towns, there are more opportunities to open businesses of their own.
According to Small Business Trends, 58% of millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs. If you happen to live in Austin, Texas, where the median age of its residents is 31.8, you’ve got yourself some hefty entrepreneurial competition.
Moving to a more rural area affords you the luxury of lax regulation, cheaper real estate, and less job saturation so you can more easily get your business up and running.
4. There Are More Remote Jobs Available
With the trend of an increasing amount of tech based jobs, there are many more positions in the market place that can be handled remotely. Millennials are more than happy to work from home, even while traveling. Coffee shops and bars make the perfect temporary office spaces for today’s young professional.
For those who are able to work remotely, they may only need to commute to a city one or two days a week. And for those millennials trying live a more consumption aware lifestyle, the savings on gas are great for the planet and your wallet.
5. There is More Affordable Housing
The amount of money needed to buy a house or condo in a major city is almost impossible for a regular working class 30-something to fathom. Housing costs are on the rise across the whole nation, but they move at a slower pace in small communities
According to Numbeo, the cost of purchasing an apartment space outside the city center of Los Angeles is $447.87 per square foot. If you decide to buy an apartment outside the city center of Little Rock, Arkansas, you will be spending $78.52 per square foot. Property taxes aside, you would be saving $554,000 on a 1,500 square foot space if you choose the smaller town.
6. Fresh Air and Open Spaces
If you drive a few miles outside your city and look back at it, you are more than likely to see a veil of dirty particulates and pollutants lingering above it. One look at this looming haze and you might want to flee somewhere that provides crisp, pure air for your precious lungs to grab onto.
Rural communities are less populated, resulting in less traffic pollution, and the amount of industrial exhausts nowhere touch that of the big city. However, you might have to face the occasional funk of chicken manure fertilizer wafting over from surrounding farms.
7. Traffic is Soul Crushing
Anyone who has driven in a large city knows that the uncontrollable ebb and flow of traffic is enough to drive you mad. People who have come to terms with their daily highway woes use excuses like, “It’s a great time to listen to podcasts,” or “I like my time to myself, actually.” But we all know the truth–it truly sucks.
In most smaller towns there may only be a few stop lights. The only exposure to traffic you may have is being behind a tractor or a herd of dopey cows.
8. Cooking at Home is Easier Than Ever
Millennials and Boomers alike are dining out in restaurants less and less. Small towns have had a surge in craft eateries and bars, but for the most part the offerings can be dismal.
Young adults are taking advantage of the lack of places to eat out and turning it into an opportunity to cook at home more frequently. With so many amazing cooking channels and food blogs available now, it’s easier than ever to pick up some ingredients at the store and create a meal that you know will taste good and won’t break the bank.
9. There’s More Like-Minded People
If you are worried that you won’t make any friends in a small town, think again. Because more young adults are moving into these rural areas, you will most likely make new friends that share your same ideals.
Getting out to meet new people can be scary, but you could be creating bonds that are stronger than those you had in a bigger city. Small town life can also lead to a stronger sense of community, which is very rewarding for all.
10. It’s More Laidback
There is always something to see, somewhere to be, and someone to meet in a city. But to many 30 somethings, the constant social pressure to go out can be a cause of distress. And if you stay home, you may catch a bad case of FOMO.
Relocating to a town with less to do can understandably be boring, but if you one of the millions of people who suffer from anxiety, it can be a nice breath of fresh air and calm. If you are away from the action, you feel more content in not participating. Being content doing nothing is a practice in self-care that everyone needs to participate in every now and again.