After the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic ripped through America’s cities a little known beach town in Florida called Miami saw its population quintuple in seven years to 150,000 as people fled the metropolises. A century later, a similar phenomenon is underway, sparked by Covid-19, combined with the exponential rise of teleworking, and the crippling unaffordability of housing in city centres. According to data from the US Postal Service, New York City lost a staggering 110,978 people last year, up 487 per cent from the same period in 2019. Chicago lost 31,347, San Francisco, 27,187, and Los Angeles 26,438. Many of them went to Florida and Texas, others to previously unfashionable places like Boise, Idaho. Some economists believe the pandemic has turbocharged what was an already inevitable decline for so-called “superstar cities” – specifically New York and San Francisco – which have now peaked as hubs for population and jobs. “It was already happening but the Covid [teleworking] technology revolution has put that move on steroids,” said Susan Wachter, Professor of Finance at The Wharton School. “It’s massively shifted. The speed has been stunning. Pre-covid we were seeing a decrease in population in superstar cities, the least affordable cities. They were… Read full this story
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