For most of her adult life, Megan Thomas felt trapped in Los Angeles. She moved to L.A. from a small town for college, then stayed for marriage and graduate school and her career as a consultant. What had long been aggravating — raising children in a tiny but unaffordable house with no yard — became unbearable during the pandemic. “I had always been trying to get out of L.A.,” she says. “When COVID hit, my husband and I were like, ‘We have to get out of here.’”

Economic Dynamism Rural America Geographic Trends  Demographic Trends  Remote Work

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