Lots of data in here:
One thing’s for certain: So far, there is little support for the dramatic claims that people are fleeing cities writ large. In fact, available data indicates that overall, fewer people moved at all since the beginning of stay-at-home orders and through June — even with interest in moving on the rise again.
Several surveys have found that the great majority of people who did move during the first months of the pandemic did so for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus. In one such survey of 1,300 individuals conducted by Hire A Helper, just 15% said they had relocated because of Covid-19.
As many scholars have noted, cities have recovered and thrived after past disease outbreaks. The 1918 Spanish flu episode in New York City had a death rate of 452 per 100,000 New Yorkers. Yet as urban scholar Richard Florida has noted in CityLab, “In the decades that bracketed that pandemic, spanning 1910 and 1930, greater New York’s population surged from 4.8 to 6.9 million.” In 1849, over 10,000 Londoners died of cholera within three months. A year later, a fire decimated the city. But “that city’s role as the world’s leading financial center of the time actually expanded in the wake of its deadly cholera epidemics,” writes Florida.
Death of cities? Not so fast.