Where people moved during the pandemic

In another look at migration through the lens of USPS change of address data, Bloomberg CityLab shows where people moved during the pandemic, focusing on movement in and out of metro areas. With the exception of San Francisco and New York, most areas didn’t see much movement distance-wise:

Even in the biggest metro areas, most people didn’t go very far. In the country’s 50 most populous cities, 84% of the moves were to somewhere within the perimeter of the central metro area, down just slightly from pre-pandemic levels. Many of the most local moves were likely related to the economic downturn: A February Pew Research Center survey of those who moved during the pandemic found that the most common reason people cited was financial distress including job loss.

See also similar conclusions by The New York Times and Financial Times.

While there wasn’t the mass exodus that some imagined, the pandemic did seem to speed up some trends. So as we wait for the 2020 Census count, which comes out out this afternoon, it’ll be interesting to see if the rate of change continues in the coming years.

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Pandemic migrations

With the restrictions of the pandemic, you might expect an unusually big wave of people leaving cities for more open space. Using USPS’s change of address data, Jed Kolko, Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui, for NYT’s The Upshot, show that this was not quite the case.

This surprised me, because I live in a suburban area that saw a flux of home buyers, which made prices approach ridiculous ranges. I wonder what in- and out-migration look like separately, on relative and absolute scales.

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Stopping a pandemic before it starts

For Politico, Beatrice Jin provides an illustrated guide on stopping a pandemic before it starts. Some scientists suggest going to the source, which often is from interacting with animals, and as you’d expect, cutting off the livelihood of millions around the world would be a complex process.

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Pandemic timeline as animated dot density map

As a lead-in and backdrop to a timeline of the past year by The Washington Post, an animated dot density map represents Covid-19 deaths. “Every point of light is a life lost to coronavirus.”

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Pandemic Graphics Archive

The Pandemic Graphics Archive is a work-in-progress collection of floor signs and posters from our current days of distance and mask-wearing. [via swissmiss]

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Curves for the 1918 flu pandemic

For National Geographic, Nina Strochlic and Riley D. Champine look back at the 1918 pandemic for clues about the future:

The 1918 flu, also known as the Spanish Flu, lasted until 1920 and is considered the deadliest pandemic in modern history. Today, as the world grinds to a halt in response to the coronavirus, scientists and historians are studying the 1918 outbreak for clues to the most effective way to stop a global pandemic. The efforts implemented then to stem the flu’s spread in cities across America—and the outcomes—may offer lessons for battling today’s crisis.

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