While the percentage of permanent moves from major metro areas increased an average 3%, permanent moves from San Francisco increased 23%. This is the highest increase in permanent moves nationally. Even when looking at temporary moves, the rate doubled for San Francisco while nationally it increased 17%.
Read More Americans Are Leaving Cities, But Don’t Call It an Urban Exodus.
- 84% of moves during the pandemic were within the same metro area, in the case of the Bay Area, many moved to LA or less expensive cities like Sacremento
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Permanent Moves from SF Have Fallen to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Much has been written about a great migration out of San Francisco. The population shrank by 1.4% between July 2019 to July 2020, but like most moves during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were within the same metro area. As the economy recovers, San Francisco and San Mateo counties added 17,200 jobs.
The ‘Untethered Class’ Was Most Likely to Migrate During the Pandemic
The “Untethered Class” are people with no school-aged children, renters with remote-friendly jobs that tend to skew younger and higher income. San Francisco and the Bay Area have a higher percentage population of untethere which may help to explain why permanent moves from SF increased 23% when the national average was only 3%.
San Francisco Population Fell 6.3% from 2020 to 2021
During the early part of the pandemic (July 2020 to July 2021), the population of SF fell 6.3%—the biggest population decrease in the US. Given the number of tech workers in SF, this could represent a significant redistribution of tech talent to other geographic areas.