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Blog Category: Geographic Mobility

Census Bureau Reports Mover Rate Reaches Record Low

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.”

U.S. Census Bureau Reports Housing is Top Reason People Moved Between 2009 and 2010

Graphic of pie chart

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that among those who moved between 2009 and 2010, more than four out of 10 did so for housing-related reasons, including the desire to live in a new or better home or apartment.

Family concerns, such as a change in marital status, and employment needs were other factors cited as reason for moving in the new report, Geographical Mobility: 2010.

“Tracking mobility allows us to examine shifts in demographic trends in the population for the nation, regions and metro areas as a whole,” said David Ihrke, survey statistician in the Census Bureau's Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division.

In 2010, 37.5 million people 1 year and older in the United States had changed residences within the past year, a rate fairly similar to that in 2009. Among those who moved, 69.3 percent stayed within the same county, 16.7 percent moved to a different county in the same state, 11.5 percent moved to a different state, and 2.5 percent moved to the United States from abroad.

People in the Northeast were the least likely to move at a rate of 8.3 percent in 2010, followed by the Midwest at 11.8 percent, the South at 13.6 percent, and the West at 14.7 percent. While principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2.3 million movers between 2009 and 2010, suburbs saw a net gain of 2.5 million movers. Release