Which Cities Have Seen the Biggest Increase In Work From Home?

Sylvia Powell
2 min readApr 29, 2022

Work From Home is a phenomenon that didn’t seem possible for many employees and companies before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Although once the virus started spreading , many companies had to figure out how to make it work, and fast!

Now, two years later, work from home is more common than not; and many employees are quitting their job in search of a permanent WFH position that will afford them the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to.

With all these work from home opportunities out there, people can now live where they want and don't have to stay stuck in a city dealing with overcrowding and never-ending traffic. Now people CAN have that little cabin in the woods they’ve always dreamed of.

But before everyone packed up and moved during the pandemic, I was intrigued to see where work from home increased the most when the pandemic first began. Below is a quick breakdown of some of the areas of the United States that had the biggest increase in the percentage of people that worked from home between 2019 and 2020. The information was originally found here, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

  1. ) The city with the largest increase in people that worked from home was in Vineyard Haven, MA where 17.7% of the population was WFH in 2020, a 5.2% increase over 2019.
  2. Hood River, OR and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA metro area both saw a 4.6% increase in the percentage of people that worked from home. Although Hood River’s WFH percentage was already fairly high in 2019 so this increase bumped them up to 14%. The San Jose metro area went from 5% to 9.6% in 2020.
  3. Just across the bay is the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkley, CA metro area which had the third highest increase in people that worked from home. Their numbers were similar to San Jose with a 4.4% increase to 11% of the population having worked from home in 2020.
  4. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area, which is located across multiple states, saw the fourth highest increase in WFH with the percentage of the population increasing 4.3%, from 5.9% in 2019 to 10.2% in 2020.
  5. Brookings, OR is another small micropolitan area of Oregon that had one of the biggest increases in people working from home. A tenth of the population worked from home in 2019 and the 4.1% increase put them at 14.5% of the population having worked from home in 2020, one of the highest percentages in the country!

Were you one of the many Americans that began to work from home when the pandemic began in 2020?