31% of young adults moved during Covid. What does that mean for cities?

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Pandemic migration has occurred, at least for young adults between the ages of 18 and 31.

That’s according to a Bankrate.com survey that found that 31% of people in that age cohort relocated permanently or for an extended period during the pandemic. That compares with 16% of adults overall.

Gen Z, who are 18-24 years old, were more likely to pick up the bets, with 32% relocation. This was followed by millennials, aged 25 to 40, with 26%.

Members of Generation X (ages 41-56) and baby boomers (ages 57-75) were the least likely to relocate, with 10% and 5% moving, respectively.

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The main reason people moved was to be closer to friends and family, which was cited by 31% of those surveyed. This was followed by a more affordable life, with 27%, or relocating for a job, with 21%.

Others were motivated by opportunities for more space, 18%; different climates, 17%; or the ability to work from anywhere, 17%.

While many of those surveyed left the cities, they didn’t go very far.

In the New York metropolitan area, the five most popular places to commute from Manhattan were less than 15 miles apart, according to Bankrate’s analysis of data from the U.S. Postal Service.

Meanwhile, people who left other cities, such as Austin, Dallas, Houston or Orlando, chose new bases of operations that are less than 30 miles away.

“It really seems like people are leaving the densest neighborhoods for places where they can get a little more for their money,” said Zach Wichter, a mortgage and real estate reporter for Bankrate.

Bankrate’s research came from an online survey conducted in February that included 5,158 adults. They also analyzed address change requests from the U.S. Postal Service from January 1 to December 31, 2020.


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