Geographical Mobility: 2002 to 2003

March 2004
Report Number: P20-549
Jason P. Schachter

Geographic mobility has long been an important aspect of American life, affecting both people and geographic areas. At an individual level, moving has a number of potential impacts, such as expanding economic opportunity or increasing residential satisfaction. The movement of people is a key demographic factor for any area’s population trends, and can change its demographic and socioeconomic composition. Finally, federal, state, and local government, as well as private industry, need to understand who moves and why when planning for needed services, facilities, and businesses. This report examines geographic mobility in the United States, including differences in the extent and types of movement in recent years, characteristics of movers compared with nonmovers, distance of moves, reasons for moving, and regional migration patterns.

June 2003
August 2004