When I decided to write about migration among Americans during the pandemic, I expected to find a consensus of information about why and where Americans had moved during 2020 in comparison to years prior. Having watched several news programs about large numbers of Americans opting to leave big cities for small towns, that is what I expected to find. However, I was surprised by the conflicting information! Several studies I read found that New Jersey was one of the top cities with more people moving out than in. Another study (that used more data sources) found that New Jersey actually gained far more residents than it lost, making it one of the top areas that Americans moved to.
Why Are So Many People Moving During A Pandemic?
At this point I found myself thinking, which information is correct? What is happening in New Jersey? Is it growing, or is it losing residents?? While there was some inconsistency with the data regarding where people moved, I was able to find some consistency among the reasons why people chose to move. Personal health and well being was the number one reason for making a move. Many stated a desire to change their lifestyle and improve their quality of life. Other reasons included a desire to be closer to family and a change in work status or work arrangement.
Working From Home
Many Americans experienced a shift in their work arrangements due to Covid. My Mom, who has worked in the same office for nearly two decades, suddenly found herself working remotely from home. She expected the shift to be temporary, but a year and a half later she is still working remotely from home without a clear date on when she will return to the office. The subject of telecommuting is another interesting one (maybe my next blog post). This major shift in how many began working and attending school since the beginning of the pandemic may be a permanent one. Did the pandemic speed up a shift that was already happening?
About 8.93 million Americans moved between March 2020 and October 2020. When compared to 2019, the same period saw 8.84 million. That is an increase of about 90,000 moves in 2020. According the US Postal Service address change request, moving trends remained on a similar pattern as before the pandemic. New York and San Francisco saw some major shifts due to the fact that a large percent of jobs in these two particular cities can be done remotely from nearly any location with an internet connection. Metro New York, and the Bay area saw net outflows of residents in 2020 at twice the rate of 2019. Job growth data shows a similar pattern. Cities and towns that were booming before the pandemic have continued to grow and those that were losing jobs and residents still did so in 2020.
Thinking Of Relocating?
As we continue to deal with the effects of Covid 19 around the world, it will be interesting to see how these moving trends continue. Will 2021 data show an even larger increase in Americans opting to trade metropolitan areas and small living space for less populated areas and more space?
If you are thinking about making a move and need help selling or buying a home please comment below or contact me to discuss your options. I would be happy to help you start the next chapter of your life.