Census Data Shows People Are Ready to Travel Amid Pandemic

Americans — especially those in Western states — are ready to hit the road again, according to survey data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

With more states reopening, mask mandates lifting and vaccination rates increasing, the bureau’s latest report — part of its biweekly Household Pulse Survey — shows that close to half of respondents in states such as Montana and Wyoming are planning to take an overnight trip or a trip to a place more than 100 miles away in the next four weeks.

[READ: Which States Still Have Coronavirus Restrictions?]

The survey was designed to collect data on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Census Bureau, and the most recent statistics came from responses collected April 28 through May 10. The current, broader portion of the project — referred to as Phase 3.1 — began on April 14 and covers new topics such as disability, child health access, telehealth and trip plans.

The bureau’s interactive data tool shows that about 4 in 10 respondents in Montana (46.1%), Wyoming (44.4%), South Dakota (40.6%), Utah (40.3%) and Colorado (39.8%) have overnight or distant trips planned in the next month, according to the most recent release. A high share of those surveyed in Washington, D.C. — 42.1% — are also planning travel.

It’s not just residents of Western states who have trips planned. Approximately a third of respondents in North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee are planning to travel. Data from the previous week’s release — April 14-26 — showed only five states with percentages above 33%, compared to 13 states at that level in the most recent release, indicating that Americans may be more eager to move as pandemic-related restrictions lift across the country. Wyoming, at 41.7%, had the highest share of respondents for that week’s release who said they are planning trips. Many of the states with high rates of travel planning are also classified as reopened, according to a U.S. News analysis.

Most of the states with the lowest percentages are located in the Northeast, where some coronavirus restrictions are still in place. About a fifth of respondents in Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Delaware are planning to travel in the next four weeks, according to the most recent Pulse data. Only 17.5% of those surveyed in Hawaii said they have trips planned, but that may be due to the state’s strict travel protocols.

Americans’ increasing desire to get moving again has also been noted in other recent surveys. Polling by Morning Consult shows that 58% of U.S. adults — the highest rate in the weekly poll since April 2020 — feel comfortable taking a vacation, and they are most excited to resume traveling compared to dining out or shopping at malls. The company’s tracker also shows that while Americans are still most comfortable traveling in cars, their level of comfort in flying both domestically and internationally increased slightly compared to the previous week’s data.

[MORE: Census: Optimism Growing for Small Businesses Amid Pandemic]

Another recent survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, found that 77% of respondents are planning to travel this summer, compared to just 29% last summer during the height of the pandemic.

The Census Bureau has noted that because its Household Pulse Survey is experimental and “designed to be a short-turnaround instrument that provides valuable data to aid in the pandemic recovery,” some data might not meet the bureau’s statistical quality standards.

More from U.S. News

Which States Still Have Coronavirus Restrictions?

Census: Optimism Growing for Small Businesses Amid Pandemic

These States Are Banning COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements

Census Data Shows People Are Ready to Travel Amid Pandemic originally appeared on usnews.com

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