HireAHelper, the online marketplace for finding, comparing and booking moving transportation and services, today released results from a new study examining U.S. moving trends and Scottsdale wins the popularity contest. This study is a unique and nuanced view of more than 25,000 moves booked in 2020 to identify exactly where people were migrating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Was It Made?

HireAHelper examined the origin, destination and distance of each moving job since the official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020. The study also compares year-over-year moving activity between 2020 and 2019 covering the period of March 11th to June 30th. Additional data sources include PEW Research and a HireAHelper user survey carried out in July 2020. 

The study resulted in several interesting findings, including: 

• 15% of all moves between January and June 2020 were forced by the pandemic

• 37% of people moving due to COVID moved because they couldn’t afford to live where they were living

• San Francisco, CA and New York, NY had 80% more people leave than move in

• Scottsdale, AZ was top city by net moves, 68% more people moving in versus out

• Top destination state by the number of overall move-ins was Florida

• Nebraska, a state without a statewide stay-at-home order, was the only place where more people moved during the pandemic (+2%)

• Idaho saw 194% more people moving into the state than out

“The pandemic has clearly had an impact on US migration, particularly among more densely populated locations and places where political ideology played a factor,” says Mike Glanz, president of HireAHelper. “Our study confirms a lot of assumptions out there about people escaping COVID-19 epicenters, or moving for COVID-19 related reasons – whether economic, political or otherwise.” 

According to the data, states with a higher population and a higher rate of COVID spread saw the biggest net losses of moves. Since the pandemic was declared, approximately 64% more people left New York and California than moved in. Illinois, DC, New Jersey, Connecticut were also among states where departures outnumbered arrivals by 50% or more.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, nine states had a net positive in terms of people moving in. Idaho had almost three times as many people move in than out, while New Mexico (+44%), Delaware (+30%), and South Carolina (+26%) all had significantly more people moving into these states than away from them.

On the city level, it becomes quite apparent that people were fleeing big urban centers, as San Francisco and New York City had 80% more people move out than in. Los Angeles saw 70% more people leave it behind, while Miami, FL—despite registering more moves than at the same time last year—had 53% more people leave it than move into it.

To read HireAHelper’s full study examining US moving trends, visit: https://www.hireahelper.com/moving-statistics/covid-migration-report/