By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer
Americans are leaving the nation’s big cities in search of cheaper homes and open spaces farther out.
Nearly every large metropolitan area had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004, with a few exceptions in the South and Southwest, according to a report being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
Northeasterners are moving South and West. West Coast residents are moving inland. Midwesterners are chasing better job markets. And just about everywhere, people are escaping to the outer suburbs, also known as exurbs.
“It’s a case of middle class flight, a flight for housing affordability,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “But it’s not just white middle class flight, it’s Hispanics and blacks, too.”