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Census: About 36M Americans moved in the last year


WASHINGTON – Nov. 18, 2013 – The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 35.9 million U.S. residents, or 11.7 percent of all Americans, moved between 2012 and 2013.

The nation’s mover rate is down from 12 percent in 2012. The decline follows an uptick from the record low of 11.6 percent in 2011. However, the mover-rate difference over the past three years isn’t statistically significant.

The info comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Geographical Mobility: 2012 to 2013,” a collection of national- and regional-level tables from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey. The tables describe the movement of people in the United States, including type of move, reason for moving, distance moved and characteristics of those who moved one year earlier.

“Relatively few of these movers traveled long distances,” says David Ihrke, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch. “In fact, nearly two-thirds stayed in the same county.”

Even those who did leave their county didn’t move all that far away either: 40.2 percent of inter-county movers relocated less than 50 miles away. However, 24.7 percent moved 500 or more miles to their new location.

 Renters were far more mobile than homeowners: 24.9 percent moved between 2012 and 2013, compared with 5.1 percent of owners.

Other highlights

• The Northeast had the lowest mover rate among regions (7.8 percent), followed by the Midwest (11.0 percent), South (12.8 percent) and West (13.4 percent).

• The single-race black population had the highest mover rate (15 percent) among race and ethnic groups, followed by Hispanics (13.9 percent), single-race Asians (12.6 percent) and single-race whites who were not Hispanic (10.3 percent).

• Between 2012 and 2013, 18.9 percent of the unemployed (age 16 and older) moved, compared with 11.9 percent of employed Americans and 8.9 percent of people not in the labor force.

• The most common reasons for moving were housing-related (48 percent). Family-related and employment-related reasons followed, at 30.3 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively.

• People living below the poverty threshold were more transient than the nation as a whole – 20.5 percent moved in the last year.

• Families with a householder between 15 and 54 were most likely to move if they lived with their own child under 6. Among these families, 20.5 percent of families with just children under 6 moved, and 14.4 percent with a mix of children younger than 6 and between ages 6 and 17 moved in the last year.

The Census Bureau also released updated historical graphs and charts on migration with some data extending as far back as 1948.

To access the research, visit the Census Bureau website.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

Related Topics: Research