U.S. Census report examines why Americans move

Forty-eight percent of those who moved listed housing reasons; 30% moved for family-related reasons.

June 17, 2014 |
Photo: Dwight Burdette, Wikimedia Commons

According to a new report published by the U.S. Census, 35.9 million people (not counting children younger than one year) moved between 2012 and 2013, meaning that 11.7% of the population moved in one year. The report seeks to examine who moved where and why, and to analyze the larger implications of that data. 

Forty-eight percent of those who moved listed housing reasons. For example, they wanted a better home or apartment, they sought to own a home rather than renting, or they wanted cheaper housing. Thirty percent moved for family-related reasons, and 19% moved for their jobs.

The report finds that there were many similarities in reasoning for movers between this report and the last comparable one in 1999. The three top reasons for moving have remained the same: “wanted new or better home/apartment,” “other housing reason,” and “other family reason.”

Here are some highlights of the report that we found interesting:

• Respondents with higher levels of education were more likely to move for job-related reasons

• Intracounty moves were usually housing related, while intercounty and longer distance moves tended to be job related

• More women moved than men; the Census Bureau speculates that "a plausible explanation for this difference is that there are more females in the population universe…females composed a greater percentage of the population universe than males with 51.1%."

• A greater amount of males moved for job-related reasons than did females

• Married respondents were the least likely to move for family-related reasons

• African-American respondents reported housing-related reasons for moving at the highest rate of any race

• The mover rate has declined overall in the past fifteen years, dropping from 15.9% in 1998-1999 to 11.7% in 2012-2013

Overlay Init