Will Americans Relocate To Less Populated Areas Due To COVID-19?

Fast Survey finds that one in three Americans are considering relocation, with westerners, younger people, and higher earners most likely to consider a move.

More than one-third (35%) of American workers would consider relocating to a new city or town because of COVID-19, according to a new nationwide survey from Fast. As the realities of the pandemic continue to discourage and restrict movement, especially in cities, American workers say that they are most often considering a move to a less populated area (40%), followed by 36% who say it’s because there are more opportunities to work remotely than before the pandemic and 31% who are looking for a lower cost of living.

(Credit: Getty Images/Tero Vesalainen)

As the cost of living in major Americans cities continues to rise, and COVID-19 cases spike across states including California and Arizona, those in the West are now considering a move at the highest rates (43%), most importantly for a lower cost of living and a less populated area, compared to 36% in the Northeast, 35% in the South and 22% in the Midwest.

The survey also found:

  • 41% of those aged 18-34 and 40% of those 35-49 are now considering relocating, compared to only 17% of those 50 and older
  • Men (44%) are considering a move almost twice as often as women (24%)
  • The highest earners are now considering a move at the highest rates: 49% of those in the $150K+ income bracket are now considering relocation, compared to 31% for those making $100K-$150K, $50K-$100K and less than $50K
  • Those with postgraduate degrees are considering a move most often (44%), followed by some college (36%), high school or less (35%) and an undergraduate degree (26%)

“Innovation can happen anywhere, and Americans are realizing that increasingly they can live where they want without sacrificing their career,” said Fast Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder Allison Barr Allen. “Smart companies realize that their highly skilled employees will leave if they aren’t given the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world.”

It’s clear that workplace flexibility is top of mind as Americans think about relocating to new cities – 66% of Americans say flexible remote work increases their interest in taking a new job, outpacing more traditional benefits:

  • 51% say a generous paid time off policy increases their interest in taking a new job
  • 48% say 401(k) matching
  • 39% say professional development stipends
  • 35% say wellness stipends
  • 28% say paid time off to volunteer
  • 23% say catered snacks or meals

Fast recently announced a hybrid workplace initiative called Fast Flex, allowing every team member to decide when and where they work, whether in the Fast office, from home or from another location anywhere in the world. Every Fast employee receives top-of-the-line tech gear, $500 to create a comfortable at-home office, plus a monthly stipend for high-speed internet and even regular shipments of snacks.

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