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Americans Staying Put – Residential Mover Rate Lowest Since 1948

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homeowner-webRISMEDIA, April 23, 2009-The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the national mover rate declined from 13.2% in 2007 to 11.9% in 2008 – the lowest rate since the bureau began tracking these data in 1948. In 2008, 35.2 million people 1 year and older changed residences in the U.S. within the past year, representing a decrease from 38.7 million in 2007 and the smallest number of residents to move since 1962.

“Even though the number of people who changed residence in 2008 dropped by 3.5 million from the previous year, millions of Americans continue to move,” said Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “As we gear up for the 2010 Census, we will be looking to get an accurate count of everyone in the country, regardless of whether they moved in the past year or not.”

By region, people in the South (13.5%) and in the West (13.2%) were likeliest to move in 2008. The Midwest and the Northeast had mover rates of 11.1% and 8.2%, respectively. In 2008, the Midwest saw the largest decline in its mover rate from 2007.

Among those who moved in 2008, 65% moved within the same county, 18% moved to a different county within the same state, 13% moved to a different state, and 3% moved to the U.S. from abroad.

Principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2 million movers, while the suburbs had a net gain of 2.2 million movers.

Looking at the civilian population 16 and older who were unemployed, 21.3% lived in a different residence one year ago. This compares with 12.3% of the population who were employed and lived in a different residence one year ago. Among those not in the labor force, 9% lived in a different residence one year ago.

In 2008, renters were five times more likely to move than homeowners. More than one-in-four people (27.7%) living in renter-occupied housing units lived in a different residence one year earlier. By comparison, the mover rate of people living in owner-occupied housing units was 5.4%.

Other highlights include:
-While the number of intercounty movers who lived 500 or more miles from their previous residence one year ago (2.8 million) was not statistically different in 2008 than 2007, the number of intercounty movers who lived less than 50 miles away one year ago decreased from 5.1 million to 4.4 million between 2007 and 2008.
-The most common reasons for moving were housing related (such as the desire to own a home or live in a better neighborhood), representing 40.1% or 14.1 million movers. The distribution among those who gave other reasons for moving was: family related (30.5%), employment related (20.9%) and other (8.5%).

For more information, visit www.census.gov.

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