COVID-19 Has Forced Many to Consider Relocating

At least one-in-10 people are interested in relocating due to the coronavirus pandemic.


While the coronavirus pandemic has made many people reconsider what’s important to them in their community, some are taking more decisive action by packing their bags and relocating – particularly if they live in cities. According to an eight-nation Oliver Wyman Forum survey completed in June, 16 percent of urbanites were considering a move. Those in suburbia or in rural areas weren’t far behind: Eleven and 12 percent, respectively, reported interest in relocating. 

Urbanities may have a stronger inclination to relocate, but 65 percent of those considering relocation were eyeing urban environments, be it within the same city or elsewhere. Twenty percent of them were considering rural environments, with the remaining 15 percent thinking of suburban communities.

For those staying, community ties and access to high-quality healthcare were the main unique motivating factors. Access to healthcare was also highly prioritized in Spain and Singapore, where over a third of people attributed their decision to stay to these factors.

New employment opportunities and/or lower population densities were the main unique motivating factors for those considering relocation. Those considering relocation in France and Spain prioritized lower population density more than those in other nations. New employment opportunities, on the other hand, were prioritized the most by those in Singapore.

Those considering relocation may ultimately choose to stay put, but incentives like better housing, lower cost of living, access to green space, employment opportunities, and lower populations are likely to remain attractive for as long as the coronavirus pandemic lasts, and probably for quite some time beyond.