The Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Foot Traffic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has brought massive, rapid, and ongoing changes to how people interact with their surroundings.

SafeGraph data provides unique and valuable insights into these changes, particularly foot-traffic to businesses and consumer points-of-interest. At SafeGraph, we are committed to open access to information, so we built this dashboard to share SafeGraph data insights faster (updated daily).

Here we show data from recent months on commercial activity (foot traffic trends) compared to the same time period from previous years to share insights into how the ongoing pandemic is impacting the US economy and disrupting daily life.

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About the Data

This dashboard is powered by SafeGraph Places Patterns data, an aggregated, anonymized, privacy-safe summary of foot traffic to 6 million points-of-interest (POI) in North America. Here, we aggregate the data by categories (like Airports or Supermarkets) or by brands (like Costco or McDonald’s). The population sample is a panel of opt-in, anonymized smartphone devices, and is well balanced across USA demographics and geographies. We show data from both 2019 and 2020 to help contextualize 2020 data. Many categories have week-to-week seasonal variability that is apparent in both 2019 and 2020. In general, the 2020 data shows large deviations from 2019 during the same time period.

How You Can Get This Data

For academics, non-profits, and governments, we are actively donating SafeGraph data. Hundreds of these collaborators are actively working with SafeGraph data in the COVID-19 Data Consortium; if you are working for the public good, please visit our sign-up page to get involved and get access to free data. Previous researchers have used SafeGraph data to understand coronavirus spread and Starbucks’s open-bathroom policy.

You can also preview and download SafeGraph Patterns data from recent months for free from the SafeGraph Data Bar, using the coupon ScienceNeedsData. If you are a business and need more recent data, longer historical data, or larger data please get in touch.


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