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Moving tips: What to expect when heading to the big city

Those moving from a small town to a big city may have some adjustments to make.

Those moving from a small town to a big city may have some adjustments to make.

Like stardust converging and merging in space forming planets and solar systems, galaxies and quasars, so too are people in America gathering together at ever increasing rates. Already-dense urban populations are among the fastest growing areas in the country, and people moving from the wide-open country to these tightly-packed locales may have some adjustments to make.

Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau find that seven of the 10 most densely populated urban areas are in California. Taking the top spot is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area, with roughly 7,000 people per square mile. A few hundred miles up the coast in San Francisco-Oakland, the density drops slightly to 6,266, making that area the second most people-packed place in the country.

Compare either of these metropolitan areas to a city like Anchorage, Alaska. Roughly half of the state's residents live in or near the area, but at 169 people per square mile, its population density is a tiny fraction of L.A. or San Francisco, according to real estate analyst Bert Sperling's BestPlaces.net.

So what are some of the things a person should anticipate when moving from a small city or town to a major metropolitan area? For starters, it's probably going to be a lot louder, so when you're packing, be sure to include a good set of earplugs.

Anchorage has some stringent anti-noise pollution ordinances which keep the city quiet at night. According to information from the city, households are allowed to generate noise levels of just 50 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., or roughly the equivalent of background music or a normal conversation.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, doesn't set a time for its residents to settle down for the night. Between the constant traffic, police sirens and people walking and talking on the city street, L.A., like most metropolises, is constantly abuzz with activity. Interestingly, however, the City of Angels does impose a noise ban after 10 p.m. on miniature golf courses, according to the LAPD.

You may need to adjust your moving budget when heading to the big city. To secure an apartment, you'll typically need to pay a security deposit as well as first and last month's rent. The City of Anchorage puts the average price of a one-bedroom apartment at $500-$650 per month, but those thinking about heading to San Francisco may be in for a shock - RentJungle.com puts an average one-bedroom in in Bay Area at close to $2,000 per month.