The Garden and Keystone States were more likely than most others to see residents pack their bags and leave in 2020.

Nationally, most people who moved stayed in the same city or state, citing proximity to family and friends, jobs, and the cost of long-distance moves. But in a list of the top 10 states residents moved out of, New Jersey ranked seventh and Pennsylvania eighth, according to a report last month by, which offers consumer tips and studies the moving industry. Most of the top 10 states that lost residents were also in the top 10 states that gained residents. But that wasn’t the case for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

For months, local real estate agents have noticed New York residents searching for homes in the Philadelphia area. New York ranked second in residents moving out. But it also ranked in the top 10 of states where people were moving in.

One in five Americans moved in 2020, according to the report by The pandemic spurred people to move because of work, health concerns in their area, their finances, and changing housing needs. Nearly half of those who relocated in 2020 moved because they lost income and needed a more affordable place to live. For nearly the same percentage, upgrading housing was a deciding factor for their move.

The fact that people moved for opposite reasons points to what is referred to as a K-shaped economic recovery: Some people are doing very well, while other people are struggling financially.

More than 60% of people who moved were renters, according to’s surveys. Of those renters, 37% are now homeowners and 63% remain renters. Of the nearly 40% of people who were homeowners when they moved, more than six in seven stayed homeowners, while the rest became renters.

Most people who moved did so in the late summer and early fall, with moves peaking in September.