Data through Monday, March 30th, 2020
Coronavirus is having a profound impact on everyday life — canceled schools, closed restaurants, working at home, no gatherings of more than 10 people, etc. — with one commenter saying “it’s like we’re pushing the pause button on the economy.”
In this example, we quantify the level of human mobility in the US at the state level. Our methodology looks at a collection of mobile devices reporting consistently throughout the day. We calculate the maximum distance moved in kilometers (excluding outliers) from the first reported location. Using this value, we calculate the median across all devices in the sample to generate a mobility metric for selected states.
We are making views of this mobility data freely available at the US admin1 (state) and admin2 (county) level under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license at the following GitHub repository.
Note on our use of mobile device data: Location data, as reported by mobile devices, is a powerful resource to understand our world and monitor aggregate change in human behavior in times of crisis. While there are legitimate privacy concerns associated with location data, Coronavirus demonstrates that there are important applications for this data to address some of the more vexing challenges we face in a world where society and economies are more complicated than ever before. Consistent with industry norms, we source data that is de-identified, and we do not use it to identify an individual. All resulting analysis is then statistically aggregated, removing the ability to characterize the behavior of any single device.