- Millions of Americans have requested mail-forwarding services amid the coronavirus pandemic, signalling people relocating in droves.
- MyMove analysed US Postal Service data and found that Americans moving between February and July mostly fled urban cores for more suburban areas, like tiny Texas towns.
- The country’s largest cities, like New York City, emptied first.
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Big cities have been the clear losers of the coronavirus pandemic.
Millions of Americans moved away from urban cores in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The rise of remote work has spurred many to consider searching for more idyllic work-from-home locales that offer an escape from the high cost of city living.
A MyMove analysis of US Postal Service data found that almost 16 million Americans moved between February and July of this year. Mail-forwarding requests made to USPS in that time frame confirmed reports of urban exodus.The majority of the requests came from the country’s largest cities. New York City topped the list, having lost over 110,000 residents just between February and July.
More have undoubtedly left since then, and some of the reported moves were short-term. Overall, temporary change-of-address requests were up 27% in 2020 versus 2019, while permanent change-of-address requests were up just 2%.
While places like New York and California will remain essential to business in the future, other locales are popping up as possibly major new business centres, like Austin, Texas and South Florida. As hundreds of thousands are fleeing Manhattan, San Francisco, Houston and more, thousands are decamping to suburbs. Texas suburbs seem to have gained the most residents.
Here’s a look at which cities lost the largest number of residents amid the coronavirus pandemic:
10. Fort Meyers, Florida
Number of residents lost: 11,889
Population in 2019: 87,103
9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Number of residents lost: 12,833
Population in 2019: 1.58 million
8. Houston, Texas
Number of residents lost: 14,883
Population in 2019: 2.3 million
7. Washington, DC
Number of residents lost: 15,520
Population in 2019: 705,749
6. Naples, Florida
Number of residents lost: 22,100
Population in 2019: 384,902
5. Los Angeles, California
Number of residents lost: 26,438
Population in 2019: 4 million
4. San Francisco, California
Number of residents lost: 27,187
Population in 2019: 881,549
3. Chicago, Illinois
Number of residents lost: 31,347
Population in 2019: 2.7 million
2. Brooklyn, New York
Number of residents lost: 43,006
Population in 2019: 2.6 million
1. Manhattan, New York
Number of residents lost: 110,978
Population in 2019: 1.6 million
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