Moving is something almost every human experiences at least a few times in their lives, for better or worse. Sometimes we move under duress and against our will for reasons beyond our control. Other times we move to start fresh and pursue our dreams in a new place. But no matter the reasons or the sentiments surrounding a move, doing so is a part of life that is often dictated by outside factors — like a global pandemic, perhaps.
As with most things, COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on American moving trends over the last few years, greatly influencing where people are moving from, where people are moving to, and why people are moving in the first place. The researchers over at CraftJack have taken a deep dive into Census Bureau data and conducted a survey of their own this year of over 1,000 Americans as a means of unpacking these trends to better understand the moving culture in our country right now.
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CraftJack found out one thing for certain right off the bat: people are on the move. "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 1 in 10 people move every year," details the report of their findings. "1 in 5 moved in 2021, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, 13% report moving in 2022." They also found that 26% of Americans have moved out of state in the last five years, and that the average cost of moving has been $3,946.
The CraftJack analysis revealed that the top region people are moving to is the South, and the top region people are moving from is the Northeast. One probable reason is that the South sees much milder winters, plus the cost of living is typically cheaper in this area as compared to major cities in the Northeast. Here's their official breakdown:
Top States People are Moving to:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Top States People are Moving from:
- New York
- New Jersey
Another interesting facet of the study shows that where people are moving doesn't necessarily align with where they want to move, especially if money wasn't a factor.
Top States Americans Want to Move to:
Top States Americans Want to Move to if Money Wasn’t a Concern:
- New York
So what are the main reasons Americans are moving then? According to CraftJack, the number one reason is moving for a job, followed by moving to be closer to family, and then seeking out a lower cost of living. The fourth top reason is a bit more on the emotional side: people want to live in a new place. Meanwhile, the fifth is also more about pursuing personal happiness than pragmatism: wanting to live in a warmer climate.
CraftJack's findings are direct reflections of societal shifts due to COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how these moving trends shift over the next few years, as life plows forward.