Cheap Living, Rapidly Growing Population in Northeast Ohio

Every year, tens of millions of Americans move to a new area. Historically, a new job or job transfer has accounted for about one in 10 of those moves, according to the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. However, as remote work becomes an option for growing numbers of workers, more Americans are free to prioritize other factors when choosing where to live — and the one of them is the cost of living.

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that before the pandemic, only 20% of Americans who could work remotely did so. During the pandemic, that figure jumped to more than 70% — and many of those workers might not be required to return to the office.

As fewer workers are tethered to a physical office, places like New York and Silicon Valley — employment hubs with the nation’s leading cost of living — are reporting a sharp decline in population. Meanwhile, many cities with relatively low living costs have grown significantly.

Goods and services in the Cleveland-Elyria, OH metro area are approximately 10.1% cheaper than the national average. The Cleveland metro area saw an estimated net influx of 4,457 new residents from July 2020 to April 2021 — the 20th of 93 metro areas with available migration data and a lower-than-average cost of living. The number of Americans who have settled there in recent months is equal to about 0.2% of the local population.

According to online research data from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage firm, interest in real estate in Cleveland is coming more from the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI metro area than anywhere else. An estimated 18.8% of all online searches for homes in the Cleveland area come from the Detroit metro area.

All data on population change from net migration and online real estate searches come from, a national real estate agency. Regional price parity, or cost of living, data is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is for 2019.

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