It’s been nearly a year and a half since the first cases of COVID-19 led to lockdowns, travel warnings and stay-at-home orders. Those social distancing measures have mainly been lifted, but we found many people are still staying home. And it’s had a direct impact on coronavirus cases in their state.

Key findings:

  • States that are staying home have lower numbers of coronavirus cases.
  • New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts have stayed home the most over the last year.
  • Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas have stayed home the least over the last year.

Our team of analysts at QuoteWizard looked at mobility numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the University of Maryland. We found that states that have a higher percentage of people staying home frequently have a lower number of coronavirus cases per capita.

states staying home

How much each state stayed at home
State % of people staying home COVID-19 cases per 1000 people
New York 36% 7
New Jersey 32% 7
Maryland 30% 5
Massachusetts 30% 7
California 29% 7
Connecticut 28% 6
Illinois 28% 8
Nevada 28% 8
Oregon 28% 3
Pennsylvania 28% 6
Virginia 28% 4
Washington 28% 6
Colorado 27% 6
Delaware 27% 7
Rhode Island 27% 9
Arizona 26% 9
Hawaii 26% 2
Kansas 26% 8
Michigan 26% 5
Minnesota 26% 7
Alaska 25% 6
Florida 25% 7
Louisiana 25% 8
Missouri 25% 7
Montana 25% 8
Nebraska 25% 8
New Mexico 25% 7
Ohio 25% 7
Texas 25% 7
Utah 25% 2
West Virginia 25% 8
Georgia 24% 7
Indiana 24% 8
Iowa 24% 9
Kentucky 24% 7
North Carolina 24% 7
Vermont 24% 6
Wisconsin 24% 8
Wyoming 24% 8
Idaho 23% 8
Maine 23% 3
New Hampshire 23% 5
North Dakota 23% 11
Oklahoma 23% 9
South Carolina 23% 8
South Dakota 23% 10
Tennessee 23% 9
Alabama 22% 8
Arkansas 22% 9
Mississippi 21% 8

How often are people driving to work?

When people did leave home, however, it wasn’t usually to go to work. We found that on average, only three of the 24 trips people took each week were to work.

Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wyoming took the most trips overall. Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming took the most work trips with four a week.. Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan and Nevada took the fewest work trips with two a week. And finally, Massachusetts, Colorado and Utah took the highest numbers of non-work trips with around 24 outings a week.

Where do most people drive each week
State Average trips per week Work trips per week Non-work trips per week
Alabama 22 3 19
Alaska 23 3 20
Arizona 21 2 19
Arkansas 22 3 19
California 22 3 19
Colorado 27 3 24
Connecticut 23 2 21
Delaware 22 3 19
Florida 21 3 19
Georgia 22 3 19
Hawaii 21 3 18
Idaho 23 3 20
Illinois 26 4 22
Indiana 25 3 22
Iowa 26 3 22
Kansas 25 3 22
Kentucky 25 3 22
Louisiana 25 3 22
Maine 23 3 20
Maryland 22 2 20
Massachusetts 27 3 24
Michigan 23 2 21
Minnesota 24 3 21
Mississippi 22 3 19
Missouri 24 3 21
Montana 23 3 19
Nebraska 25 4 22
Nevada 22 2 19
New Hampshire 24 3 21
New Jersey 24 3 21
New Mexico 26 3 23
New York 26 4 22
North Carolina 23 3 20
North Dakota 24 4 20
Ohio 24 3 21
Oklahoma 24 4 20
Oregon 24 3 21
Pennsylvania 23 3 20
Rhode Island 23 3 21
South Carolina 23 3 20
South Dakota 25 3 22
Tennessee 24 3 21
Texas 22 3 19
Utah 26 3 24
Vermont 24 3 21
Virginia 23 3 20
Washington 23 3 20
West Virginia 22 3 20
Wisconsin 25 3 21
Wyoming 27 4 23

A pattern emerged when QuoteWizard analysts tracked nationwide travel data by month. We found that travel was highly dependent on lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and COVID-19-related news.

Trips per capita began to fall shortly after the first U.S. coronavirus case was confirmed on January 19, 2020. However, travel remained relatively high until a series of statewide stay-at-home orders were issued in late March and early April. In May 2020, many states began phased reopening plans. This led to a dramatic increase in the number of people traveling. The increase in travel continued into June when several COVID-19-related milestones were passed.

In May 2020, many states began phased reopening plans. This led to a dramatic increase in the number of people traveling. The increase in travel continued into June when several COVID-19-related milestones were passed.

months that people travel most

States that drive the most

When people decided to leave home, they usually didn’t go too far. We found that the average person traveled 40 miles a day, left their home county on 29% of trips and left the state only 6% of the time.

states distance traveled away

Alaska and Wyoming drove the farthest, while Virginia drivers went outside their county the most and New Hampshire drivers took the most out-of-state trips.

How far does each state drive
State Miles per person per day % of total trips that are outside the county % of total trips that are outside the state
Alabama 38 29% 5%
Alaska 58 7% 1%
Arizona 39 11% 2%
Arkansas 39 29% 6%
California 37 17% 1%
Colorado 49 35% 2%
Connecticut 32 27% 7%
Delaware 33 25% 17%
Florida 33 21% 1%
Georgia 40 38% 4%
Hawaii 25 1% 0%
Idaho 40 28% 7%
Illinois 46 28% 5%
Indiana 42 34% 7%
Iowa 46 33% 7%
Kansas 44 29% 8%
Kentucky 43 35% 8%
Louisiana 41 31% 3%
Maine 37 27% 5%
Maryland 34 35% 11%
Massachusetts 39 31% 7%
Michigan 40 29% 2%
Minnesota 48 36% 4%
Mississippi 39 34% 7%
Missouri 43 34% 7%
Montana 45 18% 3%
Nebraska 44 31% 6%
Nevada 39 10% 4%
New Hampshire 42 37% 18%
New Jersey 36 36% 8%
New Mexico 45 22% 6%
New York 39 29% 4%
North Carolina 39 31% 4%
North Dakota 46 27% 9%
Ohio 37 32% 4%
Oklahoma 41 31% 4%
Oregon 37 27% 5%
Pennsylvania 35 30% 6%
Rhode Island 32 34% 17%
South Carolina 35 31% 7%
South Dakota 44 33% 6%
Tennessee 42 31% 7%
Texas 38 25% 1%
Utah 48 23% 3%
Vermont 35 31% 12%
Virginia 37 43% 6%
Washington 38 21% 4%
West Virginia 37 35% 15%
Wisconsin 46 32% 5%
Wyoming 55 20% 9%

Methodology:

To find which states saw the largest increases in people staying at home through the pandemic, QuoteWizard analyzed the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics on Trips by Distance and data from The University of Massachusetts. Through new mobility statistics, we compiled and analyzed data on the number of people staying home month-by-month on a per capita basis.

To represent how stay-at-home orders and seasonality affected travel among Americans, we looked at the month-to-month percentage differences in mobility data. States that ranked closer to 1 (best) saw a larger increase in the rate of people staying home. States that saw a decline or lower rate increase ranked closer to 50 (worst). The data is represented as a per capita number to show the number of occasions each person stayed home per state at any given time.

Associated is the total number of COVID-19 cases per month from April 2020 to April 2021 to show how the correlation between stay-at-home orders/lockdowns and seasonality affects the number of people staying home.

Data was collected by aggregating national, state, and county movement data from mobile devices that includes trips defined as movements that include a stay of longer than 10 minutes at an anonymized location away from home. Home locations were updated weekly, and movement with multiple stays of longer than 10 minutes before returning home can be double counted as multiple trips. The travel medium includes all modes of transportation such as driving a vehicle, riding a train, taking public transit, and via an airplane. No personally identifiable data or information was collected in the process by either the BTS or QuoteWizard.