Call it the Epicenter Exodus. As the U.S. starts reopening in time for the busy summer moving season, a just released survey reveals a good chunk of residents from coronavirus hot spot states would voluntarily pack up and move out to areas not as crippled by the virus. It’s not only the city slickers in cramped quarters who want out. Spread-out suburbanites want to hit the road, too.
The new survey of 1,000 Americans reveals a large percentage of residents living in the 10 states with the most COVID-19 cases would consider moving – even though many have lived in their state for more than 20 years, or even their whole lives. The states with the most coronavirus cases are New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Florida.
The survey, commissioned by Our Town America, reveals:
• More than 40 percent of folks polled say they’d consider moving because they live in a coronavirus hot spot state. More than half polled live in the suburbs and more than 30 percent live in the city.
• Of those who would move, more than half (53 percent) say they say they would move to an area of the country less affected by the coronavirus for peace of mind (44 percent) and because there’s less chance of a resurgence of coronavirus (40 percent). Some also say it’s important to live somewhere their kids can start school sooner.
• When would they move? Nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) say they’re ready to move NOW – as quickly as possible. More than 3 in 5 (64 percent) say they’d want to move by the end of the year.
•More than two-thirds (68 percent) worry because they come from a state heavily infected with the virus, new neighbors will avoid them.
The new survey of 1000 American adults from the 10 hotspot states reveals a country shell-shocked by COVID-19. As America reopens, more than 3 in 4 polled (76 percent) say they’re still worried about the virus. Nearly 2 in 3 (64 percent) say they’re also concerned about the future and 1 in 3 (33 percent) said they don’t believe the state they live in will ever get back to pre-pandemic normal.
• Folks are most worried about their families, health, and finances. More than one-third (35 percent) say they or someone in their family lost work or a job. And almost half (46 percent) say they want better mental health. Those with kids also ranked their children’s well-being as a top worry.
• The South Atlantic states rank as the top areas people would move to right now - states on the east coast from Florida up to Delaware. (DE, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, WV, FL)
•More than 1 in 4 (28 percent) eager to move say they’d move to a warmer climate. More than half (53 percent) of those folks say warm weather is better for their physical and mental health and more than 1 in 6 (17 percent) believe the virus has less chance of spreading in warmer temperatures.
Folks polled say the country can’t open soon enough.
• Nearly one-third (30 percent) say the Stay-At-Home orders in their state were too severe. They describe their neighborhoods during quarantine as the “Apocalypse,” “Armageddon” and “Hitler-esque”. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents are ready for the country to open now.
• And when asked if the lockdowns were necessary, more than 1 in 4 (28 percent) say they would have preferred NO Stay-At-Home orders and would have taken their chances on contracting the virus.
•Almost a third (27 percent) of those eager to move say they’d relocate as a chance to move on from the virus in a new place, for a fresh start.
“The coronavirus has scarred people, physically, mentally, financially and geographically. We could see a mass exodus of people leaving these hot spot states to begin a new chapter of their lives for different opportunities for them and their families,” said Our Town America’s CEO Michael Plummer. “Our new mover envelope stuffed with certificates to try out new area businesses is more critical than ever because social distancing may keep neighbors away from new families so there won’t be anyone to welcome them.”