Key Highlights

  • More than 7M households moved to different county during pandemic 2020
  • This 7M nearly .5M more households than moved in 2019

Remote Work & COVID Fears Spurred Migration Shift

The COVID-19 pandemic and its promise of more flexible, remote work “encouraged” many large metro dwellers to file permanent change-of-address forms with the US Postal Service in 2020.

More than 7M households moved to a different county… nearly .5M more households than moved during 2019.

New York County

New York County, which includes Manhattan, lost big to nearby suburbs, especially New Jersey suburbs that experienced housing booms.

Florida was a big gainer of New Yorkers who were seeking out lower taxes and easier life styles.

In New York County, one new household moved in for every three households that left.  Just one year before, two households moved in for every three that left.

Washington DC and Philadelphia

The nation’s capital city saw a net loss that nearly doubled its loss during 2019.  Many of those former DC and Philadelphia residents moved to nearby suburbs.

Nationwide, employers, tempted by lower business and leasing costs, also moved to suburbs.  Some of those employers are reducing both their real estate footprint and business costs due to the reality of remote work becoming the norm.

Chicago and Minneapolis

Large Midwestern cities in core Midwestern counties also saw residents move to nearby suburbs during 2020.  Additionally, many of those now former Midwesterners moved to warm areas in the South and Southwest.  Overall, the South was the biggest gainer.

San Francisco and Los Angeles

San Francisco saw a net household loss that doubled its net household loss in 2019.  Los Angeles experienced a loss of 58%.  Formerly San Francisco residents moved throughout the West, especially to mountain states and the Pacific Northwest.

Angelinos rushed to Las Vegas and Phoenix to escape California’s high taxes and high costs of living.

Seattle and Portland

The net household loss in Seattle surged from 1,000 to 19,000 in one year.

Portland’s net household loss more than doubled from 2019 to 2020.

Both of these metro areas picked up some household gains from California migrants…just not enough to compensate for these big losses.


Thanks to The Wall Street Journal.


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