As they left places that were deemed unsafe, housing they could no longer afford or university dorms that had suddenly been shuttered, millions of people in the United States moved in 2020 due to the pandemic. A new Pew Research Center study found that 22 percent of adults indicate that they or someone they know relocated because of COVID-19.
Nine percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they moved because of the pandemic, which was more than the proportion in other age groups. Young adults are one of the groups most impacted by the closure of university residences and employment losses related to COVID-19.
Almost four in 10 – or 37 percent – of individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 indicated that they had relocated, that a person had arrived in their homes or that they were familiar with a person who relocated due to the pandemic.
Nearly three in 10 – or 28 percent – of U.S. adults who moved because of COVID-19 said the most important reason for the relocation was to decrease the risk of catching the virus. And 23 percent indicate that the move was due to the closure of a university campus, while 20 percent said they wished to be with relatives.
A further 18 percent indicate that the key reason was financial, due to a loss of employment or a different reason related to money. Those who did not choose one of those reasons provided other rationale. For example, one said, “Needed more space to work from home,” and another indicated, “I am traveling and am now blocked from returning home.”
In May, news surfaced that the pandemic was causing a number of Americans to mull relocating from urban locales to rural areas or the suburbs. A Harris Poll indicated that 39 percent of city residents indicated the pandemic has led them to consider living in locations that aren’t as dense.