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How Covid-19 affected city population trends

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Firm News |

There are many reasons that might prompt someone to move to or from a city. Before the advent of the pandemic the three top reasons for a move according to were for family reasons and:

  1. To get a new home or a better home
  2. To have their own home or household
  3. For either a new job or a job transfer

But then along came the corona virus. This changed things considerably. Cities were dramatically affected in many, many ways. Interestingly, the pandemic also affect why people moved either to a new city or out of the city.

Why people moved during the pandemic

During the two years of the pandemic people moved because they:

  • Could not longer afford their rent or mortgage, or lost their job
  • Felt unsafe in their city or town
  • Had no place to live on campus when on-campus housing closed

The shift was somewhat economic. Those who were in the higher economic echelon tended to move from the city to the suburbs or countryside. While it may feel as though there was an uptick in people moving during the pandemic, the numbers skew otherwise.

Pew Research reports that in 2020, “4.9 million Americans left cities for suburbs or rural areas, compared with an annual average of 5.4 million who did so before the pandemic.” One thing that did affect where people moved was high mortgage rates. Elevated rates meant that buyers had fewer choices. This affected where people where able to relocate.

Why people stay in or move to the city

While every person or family has their own reason for wanting or needing to live in the city, there are benefits to city life. These include being able to meet new people, being able to get around easily and being able to earn a higher salary. People say they moved to the city because they wanted to have shopping, entertainment and dining options close by. People who enjoy the city like diverse architecture, density and visible life—streets that are active with people. Of course some people live in the city because they need easy access to their work, their kids’ school or an airport.



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