The COVID-19 pandemic has created a population shift in the United States. While some people were forced to move due to economic reasons others who worked remotely in big cities took the opportunity to move to smaller towns.
Forecasters believe that many will continue to work from home after the pandemic subsides.
Big cities with high living costs took the biggest hits over the past year. New York City lost the most residents, followed by Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Austin, Phoenix, and Nashville have seen the biggest increase in new residents.
If the pandemic has inspired you to take your big city paycheck and move to a small, quaint city, Natchez, Mississippi will pay you $6,000 for the honors of relocating to the town of about 15,000.
It's all a part of a program called Shift South that aims to position the town as a desirable destination for remote workers.
"We are excited to be the first and only city in the Deep South to offer an incentive like this to remote workers," the city's mayor, Dan Gibson, told CNN. "Our warm and friendly people, the (Mississippi) river at our feet, our history, and our beautiful sunsets make Natchez a great city to call home."
The city is located in Southwest Mississippi on the river banks, across from eastern Louisiana.
Those who qualify for the program will receive $2,500 in moving expenses plus a $300 monthly stipend for one year.
To qualify for the program, applicants must be employed in the US as remote workers, purchase a home in Natchez for $150,0000 or higher, and make the city their primary residence. According to Zillow, the average home in Natchez costs $96,000, well below the national average of $250,000.
This colonial for $198,000 should do the trick.
The city hopes to recoup its initial investment by the increase sales and property taxes. The mayor believes that affordability is a great lure for the town.
"The pandemic has really been a wake-up call to what people have been feeling for a long time," Gibson said. "They're tired of the big cities, the high cost of living, and the long commutes. With this offer, you can live in a beautiful, historic small town where everything is convenient and affordable."
According to the city's website, "Natchez is filled with breathtaking views of the Mighty Mississippi, meticulously kept historic homes and churches, beautiful parks, historic walking trails, hand-crafted southern home cooking, informative tours of the city, vibrant nightlife, and much more for you to discover."
Should you relocate to the city you'll be joining famous residents, including five-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Glen Ballard, former NFL running back Stevan Ridley, Blues Hall of Famer Hound Dog Taylor, former MLB pitcher Fred Toliver, and Richard Wright, author of "Black Boy and Native Son."
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