Pandemic mass exodus is slowly reversing in Manhattan

More than a year after New Yorkers fled the city in droves as the pandemic ravaged the city, the trend is beginning to reverse.

Manhattan lost 4.3 percent of its households during the pandemic, but the borough regained .31 percent of occupancy through May and June — a trend that is expected to continue, according to Business Insider, which cited research from Jefferies analysts.

The mass exodus reversal in New York could be tied to higher rates of vaccination, and financial firms that are calling on workers to return to the office.

Mail forwarding data from USPS suggests people are also returning to Boston and other major East Coast cities. Sun Belt locales like Raleigh, Jacksonville, Charlotte and Austin have actually seen their occupancies increase during the pandemic.

The outlook is less rosy in Northern California and Silicon Valley, according to the report. Occupancy change was flat in San Francisco in May and June, and the city’s total population reportedly remains 3.4 percent lower than the start of the pandemic, as tech companies delay reopening offices.

Rural areas experienced population growth in early 2020, which fell only slightly over the next year. That trend was likely attributed to people leaving their primary home in cities for a second home in the country.

Suburban populations across the US were essentially unchanged during the pandemic, and Texas and the Southeast saw the biggest gains in pandemic-related migration.

San Francisco’s total population has yet to rebound after a mass exodus in 2020.
San Francisco’s total population has yet to rebound after a mass exodus in 2020.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images