Last month, Pew Research Center survey engineers wanted to answer a current question: Who is moving because of the pandemic and why?
They found that about 3 percent of the more than 9,600 respondents in the United States said they had changed residence due to the corona virus, and 6 percent said someone else had moved into their home. About 22 percent of the respondents either moved because of the pandemic or knew someone who did.
The family was an important factor in people's decisions. Most resettlers said they had moved in with relatives. The survey also found that young people were disproportionately mobile: about 9 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 said they had moved because of the outbreak.
Anecdotes and news reports have already shown that the pandemic has caused people to rethink their living conditions. Campus downtimes have pushed many college students back into their families' homes. School closures have forced parents to look for relatives to get help with childcare. Some people have turned their vacation homes into primary homes; Others faced with job losses and displacement have difficulty finding protection.
The Pew data published on Monday provide information on the scope and scope of these migrations.
It is too early to say how many of these moves will be permanent, also because many people do not know when – or if – their schools or jobs will reopen. But it seems that some have moved permanently: About 9 percent of those who moved said they had bought or rented a new place.
Of those who said they had moved because of the pandemic, 28 percent said the main reason was to reduce the risk of infection. Other common reasons were the closure of the college campus, the desire to be with the family, and the loss of jobs.
"It's a complex story," said D & # 39; Vera Cohn, a senior author and editor at the Pew Research Center, who focuses on immigration and demography. "There is a lot here in terms of people's motivation to move. It goes beyond health problems."
The data highlighted racial differences in relocation trends. About 7 percent of Asian respondents and 6 percent of Hispanic respondents said they had moved because of the virus. About 4 percent of black and 2 percent of white respondents said the same thing. The exact reasons for these differences remain unclear.
The survey also found that people with higher incomes and higher levels of education are more likely to know someone who moved because of the virus.
To collect this data, Pew used a nationally representative panel of randomly selected adults in the United States. The panel is led by Ipsos, a global research company. The survey took place in early June.
Ms. Cohn said these relocations could have a lasting impact on people's lives, and further studies would be useful to clarify questions about geography – where people move to – and the overlap between demographics.
"There are a lot of interesting topics here that people have asked about," she said. "I hope we can do more."