The Northern Forest—a 34-county swath of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York—saw an increase in domestic migration during the pandemic, with 85 percent of the region’s counties experiencing domestic in-migration gains between 2020 and 2021, compared with 63 percent of counties in the rest of the United States. Who moved to the Northern Forest region, and why? Do they intend to stay? And what does that mean for those who already lived there?

In this research brief, authors Jess Carson, Sarah Boege, and Libby Schwaner share findings from interviews with 16 such movers (and six regional real estate agents), conducted in spring 2023 as part of a larger project documenting Covid-era migration in the region. While the project was spurred by the pandemic, findings can support community stakeholders in understanding characteristics of migrants and features that attract them that will be useful in future waves of migration, for instance, in response to climate change or Baby Boomer retirements.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Summer 8-9-2023


National Issue Brief No. 173


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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