One-in-five Americans have moved or know someone who has due to COVID-19

by Andrew Stahl

More evidence that the pandemic is fueling large-scale social and behavioral changes: Nearly one-fifth of U.S. adults have moved or know someone who has due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Among the reasons for moving were financial/job loss (18%), a wish to be closer to family (20%), college campus closures (23%) and health concerns surrounding the pandemic (28%).

Making up the 22% of U.S. adults who have moved due to the pandemic or know someone who has are: 3% of adults who have moved temporarily or permanently themselves, 6% who said someone moved into their house, and another 14% who said they knew someone who had moved.

The Pew survey also broke the data down according to demographic groups and found that COVID-related relocations varied significantly based on age. Nearly 40% of young adults ages 18 to 29 said they or someone they knew had moved, while adults with a bachelor’s degree were more likely than those without one to say they had at least one of these experiences.

Additionally, 28% of Hispanics and 24% of Asian-Americans said they recently moved or knew someone who had moved, compared to 20% of white adults and 19% of Black adults.

The survey comes at the same time as a report from the National Association of Home Builders shows that the percentage of Americans considering buying a home has not been impacted significantly by the pandemic. The percentage of U.S. adults considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months was 11% in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 12% in the same quarter of 2019, according to the NAHB report.

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