AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe states that attracted the most new residents: Florida, Arizona and Nevada. The states that lost the most: New York, California and Illinois. Among the 25 largest metropolitan areas, 18 had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – the three biggest metropolitan areas – lost the most residents to domestic moves. Richard Florida, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said smaller, wealthier households are replacing larger families in many big metropolitan areas. That drives up housing prices even as the population shrinks, chasing away even more members of the middle class. “Because they are bidding up prices, they are forcing some people out to the exurbs and the fringe,” Florida said. The metropolitan area that attracted the most new residents was Riverside, which has been siphoning residents from Los Angeles for years. WASHINGTON – 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 today by the Census Bureau. Northeasterners are moving South and West. West Coast residents are moving inland. And just about everywhere, people are escaping to the outer suburbs, also known as exurbs. “It’s a case of middle-class flight, a flight for housing affordability,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “But it’s not just white middle-class flight, it’s Hispanics and blacks, too.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!