Rising City Living Costs Signal Growing Class Bias

May 7, 2016

10:00 am

It’s no secret that city life is significantly more expensive than living in the suburbs. However, over the last few years, the difference has gone from staggering to almost unbearable. Today, America’s most expensive cities (and, respectively, most expensive tech hubs of the country) are spiking so drastically in living costs that Millennials and much of the working class can’t afford to live there. This disparity of living costs has disproportionately impacted different members of the population – inevitably adding to the gatekeeping in the tech world.

A new report by Trullia has highlighted specifically who has been hit the hardest with rising housing costs, along with the rates of residents leaving the area. Of all of the age groups, Millennials were found to be most likely to move away from these cities and had the highest move-away rate relative to expectation.

Of all the cities used in the report, San Diego and San Francisco were found to be the most expensive. Silver Spring, Maryland was also listed as the city with the highest move-away rate from expectation. New York City, Chicago, and D.C. are also high on the list.

The report also tracked move-away rates by income level, with those making $30,000 or less about 50 percent more likely to move away. This report highlights a disturbing trend within tech culture: the less affluent you are, the less likely you are to be able to survive in these tech hubbed cities.


When we think of diversity, class and financial equality aren’t as quick to rise as the center of the conversation. Many people are still uncomfortable with highlighting the class biases that still exist within our current tech culture. But it’s just as important that we bring these issues to light – class bias has major effects on the state of tech. When we have large-scale move-away rates, these signal the beginning of a larger issue at hand.

What we need is to confront the problem head on and have an open dialogue on the ways class bias affects us all in tech.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to cameron@tech.co or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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