Where did everyone go? Migration maps show where Americans moved in 2020

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jan 15, 2021

A lot of people moved in 2020 as the pandemic accelerated change for a lot of Americans.

North America Van Lines takes a hard look at the previous year and reviews where people moved. In 2020, the moving company examined migration patterns based on nearly 70,000 moves.

"Where are people moving from? NYC, Chicago and the other four cities were in California,” says Kevin Murphy, vice president and general manager for North American Van Lines.

“Something that struck me was Idaho was our No. 1 inbound state, seven people are moving to Idaho for every three that move out of 10 moves. You’re seeing a large number there,” Murphy added.

One thing learned in 2020 was a lot of us can work from anywhere, which means we can live anywhere and still keep our obligations.

“It's really changed where people have to live or where they want to live,” Murphy said. “I know a number of people, some that we work with are changing locations and their companies don’t even know they’re in a position where they’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission.”

Allied Van Lines reviews migration patterns as well. In their network of more than 300 independent movers, they noticed trends that have been highlighted in years past still held true for 2020. Things like Florida and Texas are still popular moving destinations.

“We’ve seen that Texas has been a No. 1 state for a number of years, but it’s a very business friendly environment, a lot of pharmaceutical and health care companies, so top talent is a desired resource there. They have low state tax and no income tax," says Lesli Bertoli, vice president and general manager of Allied.

She also says California is still seeing an exodus.

“California is a very, taxes are high, other states have more friendly business practices, rules and regulations,” Bertoli said.

As is Illinois.

“Interestingly enough, the state of Illinois was a net outbound and that’s increased over the past three or four years, 68% of that Illinois volume, more people leaving than going into that state,” Bertoli said.

“If you think of the things that were really important to you as a person in an urban environment, it’s dining, it’s museums, going to an LA Rams game, see the Dodgers win the World Series, all of those things that are the benefits of living in an urban area were torn away during the pandemic,” Murphy said.

While there was a lot of bad in 2020, it did accelerate and perhaps force people to make the change they've always wanted to make, even if it means uprooting.