Why are so many Americans moving during a pandemic?

Throughout most of 2020, most Americans cited a desire for more space as the primary reason for moving. Given the stay-at-home orders and many working and/or attending school virtually, this was completely logical. While obtaining additional space is still a major factor, financial stress has recently become another primary driver behind the various moves.

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, people who moved in the fall of 2020 were more likely to cite financial stress as their top reason for moving. Prior to November, the last Pew Survey was conducted in June. At that time, 3% of Americans cited COVID-19 as the primary reason for their move. The most recent Pew Survey in November showed that 5% of Americans cited COVID-19 as the primary reason for their move. During the initial survey in June, approximately 18% of respondents cited financial stress or job loss as the primary reason for the move. Unfortunately, the November survey showed that approximately a third of respondents cited financial stress or job loss as their main driver to move. Interestingly, about 12% of pandemic movers surveyed in November said the primary reason for their move was because there were too many COVID-19 restrictions where they were living. This question that was not asked in June.

Breakdown by demographics

Overall, young adults aged 18 – 29 were the most likely of any age group in both surveys to have moved. According to the November survey, Hispanic and Black adults were more likely than white adults to say they had moved because of the virus. In the most recent November survey, 9% of Hispanic adults, 7% of Black adults and 4% of white adults said they moved because of the pandemic.


The financial tolls caused by the pandemic are unprecedented. A year ago at this time, the country was experiencing one of the most thriving economies that we had ever seen. A year later it is a completely different scenario. Unfortunately, certain sectors of the economy have been disproportionately impacted. With this said, the recent authorizations of several different vaccines provide hope for an overall economic recovery. While many organizations will look completely different moving forward, it is expected that the various lock downs will be lifted to allow more Americans to resume earning an income again.

The silver lining for many Americans is the explosion in remote working environments being adopted by many organizations. This is allowing much more flexibility as to where employees may live. Oftentimes, employees have moved to another state entirely while maintaining their employment. Are you ready to work remotely from paradise? If so, contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today!

By natasha@livesouthfl.com

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.