California exodus accelerated during Covid-19 pandemic, study shows

By Alex Tanzi | Bloomberg

The long-term migration out of California accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis, with Texas, Washington and Florida as top destinations for people moving out of the state, according to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The researchers examined moving patterns across the US over the past two years, using data from moving company United Van Lines. Nationally, they found that the number of state-to-state moves was 15.1% lower than before the pandemic, according to a blogpost on Thursday.

Still, migration patterns across the country remained similar to the pre-pandemic era, including the outbound move from states such as California. The findings confirm that Americans fled coastal cities and states during the pandemic. Big corporations like Tesla Inc. and Oracle Corp. also relocated their headquarters to Texas.

The Chicago metro area was consistently a place from which people moved out before and during the pandemic, the researchers also found.

For those leaving Chicago, the top destinations included Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City during the 2018-2021 period. After the pandemic started, Chicago residents increasingly relocated to cities including Miami; Nashville, Tennessee; as well as Tampa and Orlando in Florida.

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