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Contact:  Tom Edwards
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Most Movers Stay in the Same County

     Between 2006 and 2007, 38.7 million people moved in the United States: 25.2 million stayed in the same county, 7.4 million moved to a different county within the same state, 4.9 million moved to a different state and 1.2 million moved to the U.S. from abroad.

     These statistics are from Geographical Mobility: 2007, a series of tables that describe the movement of people in the United States. The tables include data on why people moved, types of moves, distance moved and the characteristics of those who moved in 2007.

     The Northeast had the lowest moving rate (9 percent), followed by the Midwest (13 percent), the South (14 percent) and the West (15 percent). The moving rates for the South and the West were not significantly different.

     Housing-related issues - such as the desire to own a home or to live in a better neighborhood - were the most common reasons given for moving (42 percent), followed by family-related issues (30 percent), employment reasons (21 percent) and other (7 percent). For those moving to the U.S. from abroad, more people listed employment as their reason (52 percent) than any other.

     Of the 12.3 million people who moved to another county, the largest group moved less than 50 miles (42 percent); 22 percent moved more than 500 miles.

     The black population had the highest moving rate (17 percent) among race and ethnic groups, followed by Hispanics (16 percent), Asians (15 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (12 percent).

     Other findings included:

  • Among movers in metropolitan areas, principal cities experienced a net loss of 1.9 million people in 2007. In contrast, the suburbs had a net gain of 2 million people.
  • About 1.2 million people moved to the United States from abroad. Of that group, 93 percent moved to metropolitan areas. About 52 percent moved to principal cities, while 42 percent moved to the suburbs.
  • People who were ages 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 had the highest moving rates (27 percent and 26 percent) in 2007. The majority in both age groups moved within the same county (66 percent and 63 percent). Neither of the comparisons within these age groups was statistically different from the other.
  • Of those who moved within the same county (ages 20 to 24 and 25 to 29), the main reason for moving was housing related (45 percent and 52 percent).
  • People who were separated and people who were married with their spouse absent were the most likely to move, while those who were widowed were the least likely to move. People who were never married were more than twice as likely to move as people who were married with their spouse present.
  • Nearly one-third (29 percent) of renters changed residences between 2006 and 2007, compared with about one in 15 who lived in owner-occupied housing (7 percent).
  • For the population 16 and over, those who were unemployed (23 percent) were more likely to move than those who were employed (14 percent) or those not in the labor force (10 percent).
The data are from the 2007 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide. Statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, see Appendix G at <http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar07.pdf> [PDF].
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014