New Jersey and New York had the highest exodus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

Ability to work remotely during the pandemic, concerns for personal health and wellbeing, and desire to be closer to family were among the reasons people citied for moving, according to United Van Lines moving and relocation company survey data.

Newark, New Jersey, and New York City both had 72% outbound moves, and another major metropolitan area, Chicago, Ill., had 68% outbound migration, the United Van Lines study said.

Meanwhile, lower density areas, such as Wilmington, N.C., and Boise, Idaho, saw higher inbound moves at 79% and 75%, respectively.

For moving in, Idaho topped the list with more people moving there than any other state due to the cost of living, the study said.

“As the largest household goods mover in the country, United Van Lines’ data-driven insights uniquely point to national trends and, this year, particularly, the resounding impact of COVID-19 on moving choices and the moving industry,” company spokesman Eily Cummings said in a statement. “For example, as more people experience job and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic like remote working, we’re seeing they have more flexibility in where they can live — many choosing to move from urban to more rural areas.”

The study is based on inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state of household moves United Van Lines handled in 2020 within the United States. The company has tracked annual migration patterns on a state-by-state basis since 1977.

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