Nearly 16 Million People Have Moved During the Pandemic
October 15, 2020
The pandemic has sparked Americans to relocate in large numbers. From February through July, more than 15.9 million people filed change-of-address requests with the United States Postal Service.
Twenty-eight percent of nearly 10,000 adults recently surveyed by the Pew Research Center said the most important reason they moved was to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19. Another 23% said they moved because their college campus closed; 20% wanted to be with their family; and 18% cited financial reasons for their move, including job loss.
Many of these moves may be temporary, however. Temporary change-of-address requests were up nearly 27% from February through July compared to last year, according to an analysis from MyMove.com. A temporary change of address reflects consumers who forward their mail to a new location but plan to move back to their old address within six months.
Smaller cities are adding population during the pandemic. Some that have gained the most movers during the pandemic are Katy, Texas; Richmond, Texas; Frisco, Texas; East Hampton, N.Y.; Georgetown, Texas; Leander, Texas; Cypress, Texas; and Cummings, Ga.
The majority of individuals moving during the pandemic are leaving highly populated cities. Areas that have lost the most movers during the coronavirus pandemic include New York City (number of movers the city lost in 2020: 110,978); Brooklyn, N.Y. (43,006); Chicago (31,347); San Francisco (27,187); and Los Angeles (26,438).
“Coronavirus Moving Study: People Left Big Cities, Temporary Moves Spiked in First 6 Months of COVID-19 Pandemic,” MyMove.com (Oct. 12, 2020) and “About a Fifth of U.S. Adults Moved Due to COVID-19 or Know Someone Who Did,” Pew Research Center (July 6, 2020)
Updated: June 23, 2021