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Pandemic spurs nearly 16 million people to move from major cities

Most of the movement seems permanent.

December 01, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay

A significant volume of pandemic-induced migration from major cities looks to be permanent, according to a report at GlobeSt.

A My Move report found that nearly 16 million people exited large cities during the pandemic, with 14.2 million filing a permanent change of address form, GlobeSt reported. This amounts to an 1.2% increase from 2019 in permanent change of address submissions.

Some 1.6 million people filed a temporary change of address form with the US Postal Service this year. That’s an increase of 27% from 2019. Change of address requests peaked from February to July, with spikes during March and April.

Much of the migration was originally due to people in dense urban cores relocating at the onset of the pandemic. Remote work has also played a role, as employees were allowed to work from home for an extended period or could transition to full-time remote work. Many of those who have shifted to full-time remote status have chosen to relocate to more affordable markets.

New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have been the top markets for outward migration.

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