To where did people migrate in pandemic . . . Phoenix?

People walk along the water in Brooklyn, New York on Sept. 4. /Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

By Alexandre Tanzi  and Steve Matthews

Contrary to popular belief, more people headed to the New York metro region than moved out during the Covid-19 era, according to an analysis of cell-phone data.

A study of migration in the 30 largest U.S. metro areas during the pandemic showed the most popular cities for relocations from March to September were Tampa, Florida; Phoenix — and the New York City area, according to data from Orbital Insight, a California-based company that tracks the movement of goods and people. Miami and Orlando rounded out the top five.

“New York remains desirable for all the same reasons it ever was — the nexus of culture and commerce with a higher density of jobs-per-block than most other places in the world,” said Matt Larriva, vice president of research and data analytics at FCP, a real estate firm that studies Orbital Insight data to gain a deeper understanding of domestic migration.

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