Good things come in small(er) packages

Most recently, young people are leaving big cities for mid-sized cities to enjoy less crowded areas, lower costs of living and shorter commutes, but still enjoy a rich, cultural lifestyle.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Business Insider all cite an exodus of young people from bigger cities like New York, San Francisco, Houston and others to midsize cities. A 2019 US Census Bureau report found that roughly 27,000 people between the ages of 25 and 38 left bigger cities for less populated areas.

What can’t they find in a big city? What are they looking for?
Several factors indicate younger people are looking for a better housing costs, lower cost of living, shorter commutes, better schools, less stress and better access to nature and a lower population density.

According to an article on, the downsides of big city living have young people looking to mid-size cities for their open spaces and access to nature, which studies show reduces stress and improves mood and wellbeing.

Gregory Ayers moved to Central New York a year ago from Atlanta, Ga, and is enjoying a higher quality of life. “I have so much more time to spend with my son now,” he said. “There’s no traffic, so many fewer people, but yet so much to do,” he said. “Living in Atlanta was stressful. It’s congested with traffic and people. I can live a much easier life in Central New York,” he said.

Leigh Ann and Ryan Brenz were attracted to the lower cost of living offered by Central New York. The entrepreneurial couple moved back to Central New York after eight years in New York City.

“For us, it was about the great quality of life you can live at a price you can afford,” said Ryan. “We opened a great restaurant in Central New York. There are tremendous opportunities here,” he said.

Many publications consistently rank Syracuse as a more affordable place to live than other major U.S. cities noting that more people are flocking to the Syracuse area for its prices and because there’s plenty to do in every season. Read about it here:

Add to that Central New York’s reputation for accessibility to quality housing. Syracuse and Central New York are hard to beat when it comes to finding a great place to live. Consider the following recent news: In 2017, US News & World Report ranked Syracuse no. 16 on its list of Best Affordable Places to Live in the country. Read the story here:

Here are a few recent accolades about the area:

        • Business Insider ranked Syracuse as the No.3 place to live in the Northeast U.S., post pandemic and the No. 21 city to move to in its overall list.     The city has a higher share of jobs that can potentially be done from home than most US metro areas at 38.0%, and the 16th-lowest average housing cost out of the metro areas in the Northeast, at $952 a month. It is also among the metro areas in the Northeast with the lowest cost of living at 3.5% lower than the national average.                         
        •  Utica, Ithaca and Rochester also made the list of Business Insider.  It wrote this about Utica:                                                                                               Among metro areas in the Northeast region of the US, Utica has the fourth-lowest average housing cost at around $797 a month, which is also lower than most US metro areas. The city also has the fifth-lowest population density of cities in the Northeast at 110 people per square mile.
        • Zillow named Syracuse in the top twelve Up and Coming Mid-Size markets in the country based on real estate variables:                                                            As some homeowners seek to exit the congestion of New York City for more spacious areas, Syracuse might be one city they flock to, with its varied downtown neighborhoods and close proximity to nature trails and lakes. Home values have increase 6.8 percent from last year, and Zillow anticipates those may rise 4 percent within the next year.”
        • Filterbuy ranked Syracuse as No.4 in the country for air quality. Syracuse ranked among the top ten cities in the country for air quality. Filterbuy analysts use Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Index values to measure areas’ air pollution. Three Upstate metropolitan areas ranked in the top ten: Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.
        • Finger Lakes named in top ten places to visit this summer.  The nearby Finger Lakes was named by Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 places to visit this summer.  The national publication highlighted the area for its natural beauty, waterfalls, beautiful lakes, wineries, wine trails, and Finger Lakes Cheese Trail as top activities.

Central New York is full of amazing people, activities, culture and nature, with a big city feel and small town prices.

It really is the good life.