People move for different reasons. Family reasons such as divorce, changing marital status, financial or economic reasons such as getting a more affordable house, and other reasons such as getting a new job in another city or another part of town. People are always moving not just because they want to, but sometimes, because they have to move. However, the rate at which people move is not as high as one would expect.
In 2019, just before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world, fewer people in America changed homes. Statistics show that there was a migration decline in the months preceding the coronavirus pandemic. Even in the preceding decade, there was a continuing decline in the migration rate. Between March 2019 and March 2020, before the pandemic, the rate of people who changed residence was at an all-time low since World War II. Even before the coronavirus pandemic.
For 2020, it appears that there is a mix in the migration pattern both across different parts of the country and internationally. This mixed pattern is evidenced by real estate, moving, and survey patterns date. All these data show a selective migration based on different reasons.
The Pre-Coronavirus Pandemic Decline in Moving Migration Rate
Migration trends confirm a relatively consistent decline in migration movements. There has been a gradual but consistent reduction in migration. This reduction is due to a number of factors such as demographic factors, economic forces, age of the population, and labor factors. Migration plunged even more after the great recession in 2008. No doubt, the great recession affected the housing and labor markets generally consequently, affecting the rate at which people migrated.
Both local and international migration have been on a decline. From 2007 (the beginning of the great recession), internal migration reduced from 4% to about 3.5% to 3.7%. Survey shows that even the people who moved gave housing-related reasons. Many moved to find more affordable housing.
Factors that Affected the 2020 Moving Migration Pattern
Different factors such as safety and finances have contributed to the migration pattern of 2020. However, the major factor that affected moving migration pattern in 2020 was the coronavirus pandemic.
There is data to show that some moves were induced by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, some people moved from crowded cities to smaller cities to reduce their chances of coming in contact with people and getting the virus. Some young people had to move back home with their parents or other family members for health and safety reasons.
Effects of the Pandemic on Migration in 2020
2020 was the year of the pandemic. Countries were forced to go on lockdowns and people had to stay home and work from home. The Coronavirus pandemic affected a lot of activities and migration was not left out. Still, some reports show that despite the coronavirus pandemic, people kept moving. Moving data from 2019 was analyzed with that of 2020. Even though there are no definite answers, there is data that shows people’s response to the pandemic. Some data suggests that people moved more than usual while others suggest that people moved less.
Some Examples of How People Moved and Why are Highlighted Below.
- Many countries closed their borders. The coronavirus pandemic forced many countries to close their borders. This was done in a bid to contain the virus in the country as well as prevent more from coming into the country. This made migration a whole lot more difficult than it already is. Border closures slowed down the rate at which people could migrate to other countries. Thus, border closures and travel restrictions affected international migration and not local migration.
- Economic downturn was one effect of the coronavirus pandemic that led to a reduction in the rate of migration. Migration can be very expensive, and the coronavirus pandemic reduced the amount of money in circulation. Companies are letting go of workers and cutting salaries and there are no jobs because every other company is trying to remain stable through the pandemic. the direct effect of the economic downturn.
There is however data to show that some people moved because of the economic downturn. The coronavirus pandemic caused a lot of income loss and this income loss led some people to move as they could no longer afford their current housing. Some moved to places with cheaper housing while others moved back in with family. The bulk of this category of people are millennials who found it hard to survive with the effect of the pandemic on finances and jobs. A lot of them had to move back in with families.
- For internal migrations, some data suggests that people moved less than usual in a bid to stay healthy. However, people also moved to stay safe. For example, a lot of people moved from urban areas to communities with fewer people. For long-distance moving, reports show that there were fewer long-distance moves in the year 2020 and the obvious cause of this was the pandemic.
- A lot of companies and organizations have adapted to the pandemic and now, many workers work from home. This work from home arrangement has affected migration patterns. Statistics show that a good number of people move to enable proximity to work. Now, they no longer have to go to work every day thus, dispelling the need for proximity. This development has caused some people to move away from big cities and also, prevented some from moving to big cities as they can work from towns close to the cities.
The bulk of the 2020 migration patterns were pandemic-related migration patterns. It is uncertain how lasting the coronavirus pandemic-related migration will be. It is however anticipated that when the vaccine becomes more widespread, the migration rate will go back to its stable downward shift. For instance, the fact that a lot of organizations have adopted the work from home arrangement means that fewer people will have work-related migration. It is uncertain how long the work from home arrangement will last thus, uncertain how long the reduction in work-related migration will last. The same applies to all other coronavirus-related patterns.