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CB10-67

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010

U.S. Census Bureau Reports Residents Move at Higher Rate in 2009 After Record Low in 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the national mover rate increased from 11.9 percent in 2008 (the lowest rate since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking the data in 1948) to 12.5 percent in 2009.

According to data from Geographical Mobility: 2009, 37.1 million people 1 year and older changed residences in the U.S. within the past year. This represents an increase from 35.2 million in 2008.

In 2009, 67.3 percent of all movers stayed within the same county, 17.2 percent moved to a different county in the same state, 12.6 percent moved from a different state, and 2.9 percent moved to the U.S. from abroad.

"Geographical Mobility data not only track mover rates and types of movement, they also provide information on who moves, why, and how far," said David Ihrke, a survey statistician in the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. "These components help people see variations in the motivation for moving."

By region, people in the Northeast had the lowest mover rate (8.1 percent), followed by the Midwest (11.6 percent), the South (13.7 percent) and the West (14.8 percent). All regions except the West, which saw a 1.6 percentage point increase, were not significantly different between 2008 and 2009.

Principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2.1 million movers, while the suburbs had a net gain of 2.4 million movers.

In 2009, renters were more than five times more likely to move than homeowners; 29.2 percent of all people living in renter-occupied housing units lived elsewhere in 2008. The mover rate of all people living in owner-occupied housing units was 5.2 percent.

Other highlights:

  • Of the civilian population 16 and older who were unemployed, 20.9 percent lived in a different residence one year ago compared with 12.5 percent who were employed. Among those not in the labor force, 9.3 percent lived in a different residence one year ago.
  • Generally, people with incomes below the poverty line were more likely to move than those just above the poverty line. Last year, 23.6 percent of people with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty line moved within the last year as compared with 17.5 percent of people with incomes between 100 and 149 percent of the poverty line.
  • Most often, people cited housing-related reasons as their main reason for moving. About 17 million movers (45.9 percent) said they wanted to own a home or live in a better neighborhood. Other reasons for moving included family concerns (26.3 percent), employment needs (17.9 percent) and other (9.8 percent).
  • The number of intercounty movers — people who moved to a different county — who lived 50 to 199 miles away one year ago increased from 2.1 million to 2.4 million between 2008 and 2009.
  • The black alone population had the highest mover rate (16.7 percent), followed by Hispanics (15.8 percent), Asian alone (13.8 percent) and white alone not Hispanic (10.7 percent).

These statistics are from Geographical Mobility: 2009, 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 those who moved between 2008 and 2009.

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The data are from the 2009 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/cpsmar09.pdf>.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014