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Economy

What We Actually Know About How Americans Are Moving During Covid

Despite talk of an urban exodus, fewer people moved during the height of the pandemic. But in a few cities, the story is a little different.

Yes, some people are moving out of San Francisco. But guess where many of them are going. Seattle!

Yes, some people are moving out of San Francisco. But guess where many of them are going. Seattle!

Photographer: aaaaimages/Moment RF

Are people in the U.S. migrating during the coronavirus crisis in different ways than pre-pandemic? Are they leaving cities? Moving to the suburbs? These are popular questions without definitive answers — yet. But there is some data emerging that can paint a better picture of Americans’ geographic response to the pandemic. 

One thing’s for certain: So far, there is little support for the dramatic claims that people are fleeing cities writ large. In fact, available data indicates that overall, fewer people moved at all since the beginning of stay-at-home orders and through June — even with interest in moving on the rise again.