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Census Bureau Reports Mover Rate Reaches Record Low

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Chart Depicting Geographic Mobility

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today the percentage of people who changed residences between 2010 and 2011 was 11.6 percent, the lowest recorded rate since the Current Population Survey began collecting statistics on the movement of people in the United States in 1948. The rate, which was 20.2 percent in 1985, declined to a then-record low of 11.9 percent in 2008 before rising to 12.5 percent in 2009. The 2010 rate was not statistically different than the 2009 rate.

“Taken together, these products paint a vivid picture of a nation on the move and tell a more complete story than any one of them can separately,” said Alison Fields, chief of the Census Bureau's Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch. “The record low mover rate was driven by a drop in the likelihood of people moving from one location to another within the same county. The last time this rate was so low, the overall mover rate also reached a record low.”

The most common state-to-state moves in 2010 were:

  •          California to Texas (68,959 movers)
  •          New York to Florida (55,011)
  •          Florida to Georgia (49,901)
  •          California to Arizona (47,164)
  •          New Jersey to Pennsylvania (42,456)
  •          New York to New Jersey (41,374)
  •          California to Washington (39,468)
  •          Texas to California (36,582)
  •          Georgia to Florida (35,615)
  •          California to Nevada (35,472)

Four years earlier, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the most common move was Louisiana to Texas (118,552 moves). Among the next largest moves were New York to Florida (87,576) and California to Arizona (85,497). All in all, 7.9 million people moved between states during the 2005 to 2006 period.

This information comes from Geographical Mobility: 2011 [PDF], a collection of national- and regional-level tables from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.  Release

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