In a new study from Pew Research Center, COVID-19 has dramatically changed the average American’s desire to live and work in the big city. One in five Americans still want to live in a city, a decrease from roughly a quarter in 2018. American’s preference for rural areas, however, remains basically the same.

From the story: “The pandemic isn’t the only issue Americans are facing in their local communities. About half of U.S. adults (49%) say the availability of affordable housing is a major problem where they live, up 10 percentage points from 2018.

At the same time, concern over drug addiction and the availability of jobs has waned. Some 35% now say drug addiction is a major problem in their community, down from 42% in 2018. And 18% say jobs are a major problem, down from 31%. About one-in-five say crime, the quality of K-12 schools and racism are major problems where they live – all relatively unchanged from 2018. With the exception of availability of jobs, urban residents are more likely than those in the suburbs or in rural areas to say each of the issues included in the survey is a major problem in their local community.”

As for the rural areas, scarce housing and the specter of “brain drain” leaves little to entice new residents. Regardless, according to Pew survey respondents, it will take a few years for communities, urban, suburban, and rural, to get back to pre-pandemic life.

To read the rest of the story from Pew, click here.

To read The Daily Yonder’s take on the research, click here.

SOURCE: The Daily Yonder, Pew Research Center