There is a shift in Americans Moving Again.

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Realty

The Percentage of people moving has sightly increase,after a historic slow down.

Most demographic groups saw a small increase, in U.S. migration

Why do we move? There are many factors in why we choose to travel and relocate. To other places which are better, bigger or can afford a better opportunity,whether it is across town, within the same state, or across the country. 

After hitting a 60-year low, the share of Americans who moved edged upwards last year again, but they do not go far, people are taking fewer chances, the reason been the wreaking housing market, jobs,and lack of opportunity in the down turn in the economy.

"This is the absolute worst time to lose our residential mobility," said Richard Florida, a professor of U.S. urban theory at the University of Toronto, citing the fledgling economic recovery. "It's important for people to move to where the new opportunities are, because that is the cornerstone of our idea-driven economy."

Americans are on the go again, moving across state lines and across their own states.

Roughly 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, or 37.1 million people, moved to a new home, up from a low of 11.9 percent, or 35.2 million, in 2008, according to census figures released Monday.

According to an article from USA Today, there has been the first percentage gains, in U.S. mobility, since the height of the housing bubble in 2005. Virtually all the new moves in 2009 also occurred within county, indicating that most were renters and lower-income people going locally from job to job.

Demographers say the jump is fueled largely by two highly mobile segments of the population:

Immigrants who have left traditional gateway states and fanned out across the USA in search of jobs and lower living costs.

• A larger generation of 20-somethings,are an age group more likely than others to move, since they attend college, launch their careers or leave their childhood homes. The number of people in their 20s dropped from 40.5 million in 1990 to 38.3 million in 2000 but rebounded to almost 42 million in 2006.

Some levels of people moving have been gradually declining for decades, more recently due to an aging baby boomer population that is less mobile, since hitting a peak of 21.2 percent in 1951.

The rate had generally started to leveled off around 13 to 14 percent before dropping sharply in 2008, due to the recession.

Most demographic and market indicators suggest that growth and development across the country are moving away from the suburban and exurban fringe and toward center-cities and close-in suburbs.

What's behind this shift? Empty-Nester's don't need the big house and don't want to mow the big lawn. High gas prices are making long commutes less practical. The urban renaissance in big cities is towards inner cities moves.

The share of longer-distance moves across counties and states starting to change upwards. That is evidence that college graduates and younger professionals were temporarily staying put during the housing crunch, rather than seeking out new careers in other regions of the country.

About 1 in 4 adults ages 25-34 last year changed residences. That's up slightly from 2008 but down from 2 percent in 2000 as many held off on a job search, delayed marriage or opted to pursue an advance degree in the current recession.

Older Americans are also stayed put, their overall mobility in 2009 was largely flat, registering at 3.4 percent for seniors 65 and older and 4.9 percent for pre-seniors ages 60-64.

Long-distance migration for both groups of Senior Americans, fell to below 2 percent, the lowest in at least two decades. Since most older people delayed retirement, and kept working due to thier shriveled stock portfolio's, lost of home values, and disappearing saving accounts.

There are also implications , for the 2010 census, which will be used to distribute House seats and more than $400 billion in federal aid.

Based on the growth of movement of people, towards the sunbelt cities, earlier this decade, states such as Arizona, Florida and Texas,two of these states, were on track to gain two House seats apiece, in Florida and Arizona, before the mortgage foreclosures began to wrack their economies.

The States of Arizona and Florida,may now lose out to states like California and New York, which may avert a loss of seats as they retain more big-city residents.

"Overall, there is nothing here that suggests a light at the end of the tunnel in the continued slowdown of long distance migration in the U.S.," said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who analyzed the numbers.

Other findings:

The number of immigrants coming to the U.S. from other countries fell to 1.09 million, the lowest since 1995.

African-Americans, single people, high-school dropouts and the poor in general are among the most likely to move.

The most commonly cited reasons for moving were housing-related, such as a desire to live in a better neighborhood; they represented 45.9 percent of movers. Other factors included family (26.3 percent) and jobs (17.9 percent).

About 29 percent of renters moved in the previous year, more than five times the rate of homeowners.

Locating downtown is sometimes associated with the "buy local" movement - the idea that the community benefits if businesses and consumers spend their money with independent, locally owned businesses.

The percentage of Americans who say they moved from another state the previous year has risen every year this decade. At 2.2% in 2003, it reached 2.5% in 2005 and 2.7% in 2006, the first year that the Census Bureau's American Community Survey counted people in dormitories, prisons and other group settings.

The increase in movers from 2003 to 2006 amounts to an extra 1.5 million people moving to another state every year or a total of 8 million in 2006. Mobility is a good barometer of changing demographics and economic conditions nationwide.

Many states may be getting the outflow from California, which has one of the smallest shares of residents who came from other states in the previous year.

Other states drawing few movers include Michigan, Ohio and New York. Michigan and Ohio have been hit hard by layoffs in the auto industry. Much of New York state has suffered similar industrial losses.

"Now the question is, what will happen if housing continues to cool down?"

If we can safely assume, as many economists do, that the country is "over-retailed," some downtown development plans based on more shopping will stall, but the center will still prosper relative to the fringe - and more businesses might find the downtown storefront affordable.

The findings are the latest to highlight the impact of the housing crunch and subsequent financial meltdown on U.S. population growth. The effects include renewed gains for large cities that had been losing residents to far-flung exurbs as well as losses for retirement destinations concentrated in the South and West.

The census data was based on the Current Population Survey as of March 2009. The government first began tracking movers in 1948.

What are the implications in the real estate industry as a whole?

How hard hit,will the construction industry be, in the down-turn in new contruction, across some states?

What will these statistics mean in the long run, to our own individual housing markets?

John Thomas
E3 Green HOMES - Boulder, CO
EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA

Very interesting and encouraging data. Thanks for the detailed and comprehensive post about residential mobility.

May 10, 2010 02:15 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I agree, this is an interesting post.  I moved because:

  1. I was born & raised in California and it is either brown or green
  2. California was to expensive
  3. I married a mid-westerner
  4. I wanted seasonal changes
  5. I was tired of the smog
May 10, 2010 04:18 PM
Frank Zeno
Integrity Realty - San Antonio, TX

Thanks, for taking time to read and for sharing your thoughts, do appreciate your feed back. 

To Your Success,



May 11, 2010 02:32 AM