2020 Migration Trends: Who’s Moving Where?

You’ve heard the news about people fleeing the cities for more rural areas. It’s bigger than that—they are fleeing the states. 

While the news has been full of reports that people are fleeing the big cities, that migration has been happening for years. The pandemic; however, appears to have accelerated those moves. Now that people can work remotely, finding a new place to live offers many more options than those close to the office. 

Two moving companies: U-Haul and North American Van Lines recently released their migration reports. Both indicate that Americans are leaving the Northeast and Midwest in favor of the Southeast and Southwest.

The COVID-19 pandemic has coincided with more do-it-yourself movers leaving densely populated U.S. areas, specifically New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a U-Haul® special report analyzing migration trends from 2020.

U-Haul transaction data also reveals Americans are moving again in growing numbers, and have been since May.

In addition to its annual growth states and growth cities rankings and reports, U-Haul considered the potential influence the virus had on self-movers, and looked at regions where overwhelming demand for one-way U-Haul trucks mirrored consistent out-migration. 

“While some people were hesitant to move during shelter-in-place mandates, those who moved were doing so out of necessity,” U-Haul President John “J.T.” Taylor said. “We have been open and available to help all along as an essential service provider. As 2020 went along, we saw that more and more individuals and families recognized they can move safely.”

According to the 2020 Migration Report from North American Van Lines, people are fleeing California for Texas and Idaho. The top eight states for inbound moves are Idaho, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Colorado.

As for outbound migration, New York led the way, followed by New Jersey, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio, according to North American.

What trends are you seeing in your market? Email me at with your thoughts.