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US Population Migration Trends 2020-2021

US Population Migration Trends 2020-2021

Where are Americans moving to in 2021? The year 2020 was a challenging year for most Americans and other populations around the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how Americans live and work. Moving into 2021, there is a high number of the US population that is still planning to move. Statistics indicate that 56% of Americans are planning to move in 2021 which is a high number compared to 35% the moved in 2020.

Data from the 2020 National Movers study revealed that Americans moved West, South in 2020 with states such as Idaho, South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, and South Dakota recording the highest numbers of inbound moves. Other states that recorded the highest portion of outbound moves include; New Jersey, New York, Illinois, California, and Connecticut.



A research study conducted by U-Haul revealed that the 2020 fastest growing cities in US are those in Southern and Western states. Some of the cities in the western state that have experienced a high population increase are; Houston, San Antonio, Downtown Phoenix, Austin, and Los Angeles. On the southern states, Florida cities recorded the highest number of population growth in 2020. Among the top growth cities in Florida, Tennessee State include; North Port, Kissimmee and Port St. Lucie.


1.North Port, FL
2.Kissimmee, FL (2)
3.Port St. Lucie, FL (6)
4.Auburn-Opelika, AL (12)
5.Madison, WI
6.Ocala, FL (3)
7.Knoxville, TN
8.Surprise, AZ
9.St. George, UT (20)
10.Tyler, TX
11.Sacramento-Roseville, CA
12.Johnson City-Kingsport, TN
13.Milwaukee, WI
14.Asheville, NC
15.Huntsville, AL (13)
16.Redding, CA
17.Charleston, SC
18.Athens, GA
19.Colorado Spring, CO
20.Edmond, OK
21.Fort Wayne, IN
22.Augusta, GA
23.Melbourne, FL
24.Conroe, TX
25.Fort Collins, CO

Previous year’s rankings in parentheses, if applicable.

Source: U-Haul

The upward trend in US population migration in 2021 is as a result of several fundamentals such as changes in the economic sector, growth of work from home jobs, and the desire to move to less populated neighborhoods especially for Americans approaching retirement age due to health concerns.

Based on the above factors, we can predict the following patterns in US population migration trends in 2021.

  1. More Americans will move to affordable cities

With the economy still recovering from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate is still high and we are likely to see more Americans migrating to cities with affordable housing and low cost of living.

Living expenses in urban areas are high compared to rural and suburban areas and that’s why many Americans are planning to move out in 2021.

  1. The demand for spacious homes and less crowded neighborhoods is high

In 2020, many Americans understood the need of staying in less crowded areas and bigger homes. The same trend is expected to continue in 2021 as more people are now putting their health first.

Going forward, we are going to see more Americans going for more spacious homes that have space for remote work in less populated neighborhoods. That’s why we are currently experiencing more Americans seeking new homes in less densely populated states.


  1. The growth of remote work has redefined work

Change in working dynamics thanks to the growth of work-from-home opportunities is also another factor that is reshaping the US population migration trend in 2021. Since more companies and employers are adopting to remote work new normal, we are expecting 14-23 million Americans to relocate from big cities that are more expensive and densely populated to suburban cities.

Americans with work-from-home jobs are taking advantage of this opportunity to relocate to more affordable cities. Currently, cities such as Raleigh, Denver, and Austin have more than 10% of their population working from home. Americans are moving from large cities and moving to smaller suburbs that have spacious homes that are more affordable.

In 2021, the demand for homes in suburban and rural areas is expected to continue growing as more Americans are expected to continue moving out of big cities.