According to U-Haul, which analyzed migration trends in 2020, those once-thriving areas have seen an overwhelming demand for one-way rentals, indicating that droves of do-it-yourself movers were looking to escape to less-crowded destinations.
In looking for more space amid the ongoing pandemic, a number of Americans found themselves in neighboring states such as Connecticut or Nevada. However, others have escaped even farther to Texas, Utah, Virginia, Maryland and Florida, according to the data.
Do-it-yourself moves kicked off in April, during the height of lockdown orders. However rentals for one-way U-Haul trucks began to rise with each passing month, the company said.
From March through June, the 30 most populated U.S. cities all "witnessed more U-Haul trucks departing than arriving," according to the report.
The Bay Area and New York City were among "the most prevalent out-migration markets" during that three-month period as well as throughout 2020.
From March to December, arrivals to the entire Bay Area dropped 31% compared to 2019. At the same time, departures decreased by just 12% from their 2019 pace "to create the disparity of more trucks going out than coming in," U-Haul reported.
The East Coast faced a similar trend with U-Haul arrivals to New York City down 35%.
However, the report indicated that San Fransisco was the "epicenter of the Bay Area’s exodus" with departures accounting for nearly 60% of all one-way U-Haul traffic from March through June.
During that same three-month stretch, arrivals to the five New York City boroughs dropped by 58% compared to 2019 while departures "were curbed only by limited fleet inventory as trucks left the city."
The Top 10 destinations for Bay Area movers included other parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.
However, the Top 10 destinations for New York City movers were New York state, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Rhode Island and North Carolina.
U-Haul's migration trends data was compiled from over 2 million one-way truck transactions over the past year.