The year 2020 was defined in large part by the raging COVID-19 pandemic and all the restrictions brought on by our attempts to fight the virus. Many of these restrictions focused on limiting contact between strangers by discouraging unnecessary travel and movement. But new research shows that this hasn’t negatively affected the moving industry in Maryland. In fact, Marylanders are moving more frequently than they did before coronavirus. Unfortunately, most of them are moving out of the state.
Studies show Marylanders are moving more frequently than before coronavirus
It’s been a long year of stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on movement in Maryland. It is only now with the state opening up again that you’ll be seeing more people out and about. So you probably expect that relocations were not very common in 2020. After all, this is a type of movement that would make your cross great distances and come in contact with large amounts of people. But your assumption would be wrong.
Moving companies have been largely exempt from business shutdowns as they provide an essential service. So, with a few extra steps for disinfection added to the process, people have been moving pretty much without interruption all this time. And like every year, United Van Lines conducted a study about moving trends in 2020. According to their results (as well as a few other datasets), Marylanders have actually been moving more than before the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the net migration for the peak moving period (March-October) could be as much as 30% higher in 2020 than for the same period in 2019.
People in all age and income ranges moved both to and from Maryland this past year. The most commonly cited reason for moving both in and out of state was work – roughly half of the relocations in and out of Maryland were caused by this. Other reasons included family, retirement, and lifestyle changes.
Most Marylanders on the move went out of state in 2020
In 2020, more Marylanders sought help relocating to other parts of the country than into it. Somewhere between 55% and 61% of all relocations involving Maryland had their final destination in another state. This made Maryland one of the top outbound states for relocation in 2020. It easily ranks among the top 10 (and by some estimates even top 5) states people moved out of last year. However, the number is not nearly as high as it is for some other states. New York and New Jersey have been particularly hard-hit with outbound relocations, with New York City and Brooklyn specifically landing at the very top of the list.
But where did all of these people relocate to? Most Marylanders and Americans in general moved south or west during the pandemic. The state with the highest percentage of inbound relocation was Idaho, followed by South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Arizona. It was suburban and rural areas that experienced the most inbound migration. On the other hand, people were leaving large cities in droves.
Are Marylanders moving in spite of coronavirus?
Coronavirus has caused many issues during 2020, some expected and some not. States across the US have been dealing with high death counts, increased rates of unemployment, rent strikes, economic hardships, breakdowns in supply chains, and more. And yet, despite all this, life has continued. People married and divorced, left and found jobs, and even relocated. Neither coronavirus nor the restrictions to stop its spread have changed this.
Marylanders who sought to change an address during the pandemic ran into some difficulties. In accordance with COVID-19 measures, many moving companies have had to implement certain safety measures. Fewer movers per crew and increased sanitation measures caused some relocations to take longer than they would normally. But Here & Now Movers Maryland and other moving companies in the area worked hard to maintain a high level of service while also keeping everyone safe. In the end, this seems to have been a good strategy as the number of annual relocations didn’t suffer.
Or are Marylanders moving because of coronavirus?
While most people who moved to and from Maryland in 2020 did so for work, other reasons also played a role. In fact, it’s possible that Marylanders didn’t just move in spite of coronavirus. Many of them may have moved precisely because of the pandemic. Some simply wanted to be closer to their family. Others moved to escape areas with high population density and even higher transmission rates. This would even explain why so many cities saw high rates of outbound relocations – densely populated cities were not the ideal place to spend a pandemic in. Furthermore, unemployment rates skyrocketed and many were no longer able to afford their living arrangements. This may have caused further relocations to smaller and less expensive homes. According to a study by Pew Research Center, all in all around 20% of Americans either moved because of coronavirus or know someone who did.
Almost 9 million Americans have moved since the pandemic began. A significant portion of them were Marylanders. So it stands to reason that at least some Marylanders didn’t just move during the coronavirus pandemic. They moved because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marylanders are leaving their homes in more ways than one as restrictions are being lifted
Maryland is currently in the process of lifting pandemic restrictions. Although the mask mandate remains in effect, capacity limits on restaurants and retail stores will no longer be implemented and there will be no restrictions on out-of-state travel. This should make it easier for Marylanders to go back to their regular everyday lives. But it seems like some didn’t want to wait.
According to a study from Maryland Transportation Institute, Marylanders have been going out and socializing all along despite the fact that Maryland still hasn’t met all the criteria for a safe reopening. So it should come as no surprise that Marylanders have been moving during the coronavirus pandemic. We can only hope that they stayed safe while doing so.