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On the move: Why Chicago renters are leaving in droves

by Jessica Hamrick

Despite settling in Chicago, a recent Apartment List report suggests that many of the city’s renters aren’t so settled after all. The survey – which consists of nearly 24,000 metropolitan renters nationwide – reveals that nearly 80 percent of residents currently renting properties in the city plan on moving to a different metropolitan area in the coming years. In comparison, the amount of renters intent on changing metros at the national level sits at around 64 percent.

At 27 percent, one of the most common explanations given for wanting to leave Chicago is a lack of diverse job opportunities. Some renters who are looking to change careers or advance further in their field hope to flee to other booming coastal economies like New York. Moreover, another 27 percent of people questioned agree that the continually increasing cost of living in Chicago is a major factor in the decision to relocate. Among the other reasons provided are both general the safety concerns about the city (14 percent) and the particularly bad weather (13 percent).

Source: Apartment List

Where are all of these renters going? Well, it is likely that some of them are staying close by. The most popular in-state relocation option for those from Chicago is in Kankakee, Illinois. However, a good number seem have their eyes set just a bit further on the horizon – as the most popular out-of-state metros chosen by renters from the same area include Indianapolis, Indiana and Kansas City, Missouri.

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