Key findings:

  • The percentage increase of people staying home varied widely by state; some states saw up to an 80% increase, others saw as low as 5%.
  • California, Hawaii and Nevada had the largest increases in people staying at home.
  • Mississippi, South Dakota and Iowa had the smallest increases in people staying at home.
  • States that stayed home more had fewer COVID-19 cases per capita.
  • April saw the fewest trips per capita, with sharp increases in May and June.

It’s been nearly a year since the first cases of COVID-19 led to lockdowns, travel warnings and stay-at-home orders. But how many people have actually stayed home?

Our team of analysts at QuoteWizard looked at the latest mobility numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and found that the number of people staying home varied widely by state. In some states, the number of people staying home increased by nearly 80%. In others, that number was less than 5%.

Rate of States Staying Home
Rank State % increase in people staying at home (January 2020 - January 2021)
1 California 79.9%
2 Hawaii 44.2%
3 Nevada 38.8%
4 Arizona 34.2%
5 Maryland 34.0%
6 New Mexico 31.7%
7 Washington 31.7%
8 Massachusetts 30.2%
9 Virginia 29.4%
10 New Jersey 29.2%
11 Rhode Island 28.0%
12 Oregon 27.8%
13 Colorado 27.7%
14 Minnesota 26.6%
15 Florida 26.2%
16 Illinois 25.7%
17 Connecticut 25.5%
18 New York 24.7%
19 Alaska 23.7%
20 Texas 23.7%
21 Utah 23.6%
22 New Hampshire 23.0%
23 Pennsylvania 22.4%
24 Delaware 21.9%
25 Michigan 21.4%
26 North Carolina 21.2%
27 Ohio 18.8%
28 Georgia 17.0%
29 Wisconsin 16.4%
30 Idaho 16.2%
31 Kansas 14.5%
32 South Carolina 14.4%
33 Vermont 14.4%
34 Montana 14.2%
35 Tennessee 13.6%
36 Kentucky 13.6%
37 Indiana 13.5%
38 Maine 12.3%
39 Missouri 12.0%
40 Oklahoma 11.3%
41 Louisiana 11.1%
42 Wyoming 10.0%
43 Nebraska 9.9%
44 Alabama 9.2%
45 West Virginia 9.0%
46 North Dakota 8.5%
47 Arkansas 7.1%
48 Iowa 7.0%
49 South Dakota 6.1%
50 Mississippi 4.5%

Our analysts also noticed a strong correlation between the number of people staying home and the number of COVID-19 cases per capita. In short, states that stayed home more averaged fewer COVID-19 cases overall.states where residents travel mostYou can see this correlation when we look at states that stayed home the most versus states that stayed home the least. For comparison, the U.S. average for COVID-19 cases per capita is 10.4.

Top States That Stayed Home vs. COVID-19 Cases
State Stay at home rank COVID-19 cases per capita Cases per capita rank
California 1 8.4 35
Hawaii 2 3.8 50
Nevada 3 11.0 19
Arizona 4 11.6 16
Maryland 5 7.9 37
Bottom States That Stayed Home vs. COVID-19 cases
State Stay at home rank COVID-19 cases per capita Cases per capita rank
Mississippi 50 12.1 12
South Dakota 49 16.7 4
Iowa 48 13.1 6
Arkansas 47 11.6 15
North Dakota 46 18.2 3

A pattern also 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

After passing 50,000 new cases in a single day and 3 million cases overall, several states postponed or paused reopening plans in the first week of July 2020. And while states have slowly reopened since then, the number of trips per capita has fallen into a consistent pattern.

Overall, we can see that lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and COVID-19-related news had a significant impact on travel habits. Yes, the percentage change varied wildly from state to state, but every state had more people staying at home.

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. 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 rank states by the largest percentage change in people staying home, we took the percentage rate difference and the number of people staying home per capita in January 2020 compared to January 2021.

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 January 2020 to December 2020 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.