Turns out there was no ‘Great Migration’ during Covid. In fact, moves hit a 73-year low
The US Census Bureau this week released data showing that migration activity has fallen to its lowest rate in more than 70 years. The findings toss some cold water on anecdotes that Americans were relocating more than ever during the pandemic.
The overall picture is consistent some ongoing migration research.
He analyzed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel, which tracks a random sample of 10 million consumers’ whereabouts based on their credit profiles. The analysis showed an urban exodus that was driven primarily by a decrease in the number of people moving into urban neighborhoods.
“Flows of migrants out of high-cost, large metro areas did increase during the pandemic,” Whitaker said via email Thursday. “However, many other types of moves, both long distance and local, declined. Summing all these moves reveals that, overall, fewer people relocated during the first year of the pandemic.”
It’s possible, Whitaker said, that the pandemic accelerated the long-term trend of aging Millennials and Generation Z members with families looking to purchase their first home, resulting in the uptick in “outflows.”
“I think it’s just a matter of time that the inflows will continue to catch up to these accelerated outflows that we’ve seen this year,” Whitaker said during a recent interview with CNN Business.