Work From Home Happens the Most in Cities

The American Community Survey from 2021 by the US Census Bureau showed that the largest share of working from home was in major cities and metropolitan areas. For example, San Francisco, District of Columbia, Brooklyn, and Chicago are all in the top 10 in remote work.

This might feel counter intuitive—if housing prices are rising (blamed on remote work) and city office real estate value is declining (also blamed on remote work) shouldn’t suburban and rural areas see the largest share of working from home?

The most obvious reason that comes to mind is that the highest density of workers who can work from home already live in major cities. Young people of working age live in urban areas generally (“Millenials love cities” was a common theme from the late 2010s). The largest portion of people that would move out of urban areas to work remotely probably already have.

Finally, people have preferences that are better suited to cities (like me). Political views might also have some bearing on people’s decisions on where to live or just having things to do.

Read Working From Home Is Not an Urban Escape Hatch from the Washington Post.