Americans are leaving the nation's big cities in search of cheaper homes and open spaces farther out.
Nearly every large metropolitan area had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004, with a few exceptions in the South and Southwest, according to a report being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
Northeasterners are moving South and West. West Coast residents are moving inland. Midwesterners are chasing better job markets. And just about everywhere, people are escaping to the outer suburbs, also known as exurbs.
Here in Woodstock, IL we have layers in our suburban/exurban community. We are our own city where older local residents used to know all the families of Woodstock and where they lived. Many of them are in their 70's and 80's and the city is changing shape.
We are growing rapidly with city dwellers leaving to find affordable housing. Right now we have people in our church who were born here and will die here in the next few years as well as people who have just moved in to get a more "country" feel. Others are moving in and occupying large houses in large, new housing developments and have plenty of money. Most newcomers want less crime, better schools, better marriages, a better retirement, more time for recreation and to generally be left alone.
These are challenging times.