Viewpoint | Evolving Workforces

US Pandemic Population Shifts in the Mid-Atlantic May 2021

May 6, 2021

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• As the COVID-19 crisis escalated and social-distancing restrictions took hold, the outflow of people from dense, high-cost urban metros accelerated in 2020.
• The Washington, DC MSA was no exception, but out-migration was relatively mild compared to other higher-cost, gateway markets.
• While some metros fared better than others, nearly all urban centers saw an increase in move-outs.
• The most intense move-outs in the Mid- Atlantic occurred in the central core of
the District of Columbia, disproportionately affecting areas dominated by renter households.
• Most of the moves in the pandemic were short-to-moderate distances.
• The largest influx of new residents in the region, by zip code, occurred in Lewes Beach, DE.
• The biggest demographic cohort of urban outflow was affluent young adults, who are
well-educated, childless and can work remotely.
• The outflow from urban areas is expected to see a sharp reversal in 2021 as normal
life resumes and lower rents lure back many who had moved out.