Americans are migrating because of the pandemic

A woman works in a spacious home with a laptop.
Now that working from home is a proven reality, Americans are increasingly moving to less expensive, more rural areas.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

If home is where you have to work, go to school, recreate and relax, why not live where you want?

That’s the question being considered by millions of Americans, especially those who live in expensive, urban areas. The growing trend of remote work, which isn’t expected to disappear when the pandemic ends, makes it feasible to live closer to nature, or in less densely populated parts of the country.

For some, it’s a chance to move home. For others, it’s an opportunity to find a better quality of life

And for many more, it’s not a choice at all: Unemployment and a less-than-stellar economy has made it a necessity. In fact, thanks to the pandemic, 52 percent of young people ages 18-29 are now living at home with their parents — the most since the Great Depression.

Where are people moving, and why? Wednesday, MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with an economist who is both studying the trend and living it herself. She also got perspective from a representative of a small town in northern Wisconsin, which has seen an influx of new residents because of pandemic-induced migration.

Guests:

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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