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Moving Trends in 2021 and Beyond

Published by Chris Townsend

2021 was an interesting year for the moving industry. As the states started to open up and the country tried to move on from the pandemic, the moving industry too started to pick up again.

And with new moves, came new trends. Some of them were influenced by the pandemic directly, but others indirectly through changes to the necessities of individuals and customers.

Today, we’ll go over the most interesting statistics of the moving industry in 2021, as well as its trends. Let us get started.

Moving Statistics for 2021

Here are the most interesting statistics in regards to moving trends for 2021:

  • During the pandemic, almost 15.9 million people relocated.
  • According to the USPS national change of address filing from 2019 to 2020, overall moves in the United States increased by roughly 4% last year.
  • Permanent moves increased by 2%, but temporary moves climbed by a startling 27%.
  • During the pandemic, 78.3% of people stayed put.
  • 28 % moved because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19 if they stayed put, while 20 % wanted to live closer to family or because their college campus was closing.
  • Financial reasons, such as job loss, were noted by 18% of respondents.
  • 58 % of people moving to a new state intended to make the transition from renting to purchasing a home.
  • People moving within the same state expected to continue renting 49% of the time.

Behind every number, there is a reason. And behind every trend, an explanation. We gathered the most significant trends in terms of moving for 2021 and broke them down with their explanations:

Many movers chose more spacious regions in 2020 to avoid crowded areas and contact with strangers, a tendency that continued in 2021. COVID-19 has prompted 39% of city dwellers to consider moving to a less congested place, while nearly 28% of 2020 movers relocated because they were afraid of getting the virus.

More Americans are looking for homes with more outdoor space and smaller living areas. People desire homes with porches, large backyards, and plenty of open space. American movers are flocking to Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho, in search of more room and less densely populated places. On the other hand, the top four states where people left in 2021—New York, California, Illinois, and the District of Columbia—are all in the top 15 most densely populated in the United States.

2. Affordable Housing Is More Important Than Ever

With the economy in flux and rising unemployment, Americans are looking to relocate to areas with low living and housing prices. Due to COVID-related job or income loss, 37% of 2021 movers couldn't afford their existing dwelling, and nearly half of Americans are considering moving to save money.

Even Americans who are financially secure are avoiding locations with high living costs. Many Americans who formerly lived in expensive cities have been able to relocate to more cheap areas thanks to the advent of remote work. Without the necessity to live in huge metropolises or business centers, many people are choosing cities with low housing and living costs. This is one of the main reasons why city dwellers claim they are twice as likely to relocate as those who live in rural or suburban settings.

3. New Work Opportunities

The rise of remote employment opportunities has resulted in a significant shift in 2021 relocation trends in the United States. Between 14 and 23 million Americans want to relocate as a result of remote employment opportunities, with more than half (54.7%) planning to relocate more than two hours away from their current location. Those with remote-working employment are no longer bound by the high housing costs of huge labor markets, and many of them are taking advantage of the chance to live in less expensive housing.

The popularity of remote work has grown as more Americans have had the opportunity to do so. If they don't have a work-from-home job that allows them to live where they choose, Americans are trying to relocate to cities with more remote work prospects. Cities like Raleigh, Austin, and Denver are desirable locations since over 10% of the population works from home.

4. Suburbs Gained Popularity

Despite allegations that the majority of Americans are fleeing large cities in droves, there does not appear to be a widespread exodus. Instead, people are flocking to the smaller suburbs that surround major cities. An analysis of migration patterns in the United States indicated a nationwide shift away from urban areas and into the suburbs. Homebuyers, in general, wanted to purchase in less congested neighborhoods since they were able to work remotely and were no longer tied to city cores.

Surprisingly, nearly 90% of Americans who relocated in 2020 and 2021 did so inside the same county. Take, for example, New York City. Home sales in the suburban communities surrounding NYC increased by 44% in July 2020 compared to July 2019. Home sales in Westchester County, which borders New York City, increased by 112 %. Meanwhile, despite falling rental prices, the number of houses sold in Manhattan fell by 56%.

What States People Moved to in 2021

We looked at the states with the fastest growth in 2020 and found some patterns that continued into 2021. Americans were relocating to states that provided pandemic-related benefits as well as lower living costs.


In 2021, population growth was seen in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Chandler. Because coronavirus particles disperse more quickly outdoors than they do indoors, states with a warm temperature and more outdoor activities, such as Arizona, have become popular vacation spots. Residents of Arizona may visit Grand Canyon National Park, see the breathtaking natural beauty of Glen Canyon, play golf at high-quality courses such as Raven Golf Club and TPC Scottsdale, and visit the famed ghost town of Jerome.


Colorado was already a popular state before the pandemic, with spectacular mountain views, hiking and skiing options, and hip metropolitan locations. However, in 2020 and 2021, the desire to go to Colorado grew, as the state's plentiful employment prospects, pleasant weather, laid-back feel, and access to outdoor activities made it a popular relocation option, particularly among young people. Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and skiing in Vail or Breckenridge are both options. Visit Garden of the Gods and the Paint Mines Interpretive Park to do rock climbing or camp along a lake in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area.


Idaho has a lot to offer to anyone who wants to move away from the large towns and plentiful space to stretch out. Due to its low cost of living (7.8% lower than the national average) and appeal to retirees, the state had nearly three times as many individuals come in as move out in 2021. It's also one of America's least heavily populated states, allowing movers to spread out without the worry of getting the virus. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Lake Coeur d'Alene, and Shoshone Falls are just a few of Idaho's many attractions.

North Carolina

As many corporations relocated to more cheap regions like Durham and Raleigh, the Old North State became a popular epidemic destination. North Carolina has risen to the top of the list of states for remote workers. It boasts a cheaper cost of living than the national average and several options for outdoor recreation. Locals enjoy birdwatching at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, hiking through Chimney Rock State Park for stunning views, and admiring the gorgeous "America's favorite drive" along the Blue Ridge Parkway.


The wide grasslands of Texas attract people looking for more room. While major cities such as Austin and Dallas enjoyed development in 2021, it is the state's suburbs that are exploding. Six of the top seven cities with the most movers in 2021, including Katy, Richmond, and Frisco, are in Texas. Texas is one of the finest places to acquire a job working from home because it not only has a lot of land, a lot of culture, and a lot of things to do. When you live in Texas, you can explore Big Bend National Park's enormous network of hiking trails, go surfing at Stewart Beach, spray-paint your custom design on Cadillac Ranch's sculptures, or wander through Natural Bridge Caverns' cave systems.

Wrapping Up

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the fascinating trends that made up the moving industry in 2021. Whether you are moved in 2021, will move soon, or are thinking of moving in 2022, it’s an interesting look at how the interests have shifted throughout the last few months.

If you are moving soon though, you’ll want to make sure you do it with a company you can trust. Contact Three Movers and we’ll get your move started for you. As you can see, we are on top of the latest trends of the household goods mover’s industry.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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