How many times have you moved in the last 5 years? None? Once? More than once?
Moving within the same country is a fascinating and yet complex phenomenon which can have a huge impact on the demographics and the economies of the affected areas. It’s interesting to know how often these relocations occur and what the usual reasons behind each move may be.
How often do Americans move?
Americans are considered to be highly mobile. Each year, tens of millions of people in the US relocate from their place of birth or current residence to another location within the same city, county, state, country or abroad. In fact, statistical data show that the average American moves once every 5 years.
According to the information provided by U. S. Census Bureau, out of a population of 307,243,000 people over age 1, 35,918,000 Americans moved between 2012 and 2013. That’s an overall percentage of 11.69 percent.
And out of those 36 million people,
- 23,150,000 moved within the same county,
- 6,961,000 moved to a different county within the same state,
- 4,770,000 moved to a different state, and
- 1,036,000 moved to a different country.
The percentage of the individuals who relocate annually has actually dropped down 2.5 percent in the last 10 years (40,093,000 people moved between 2002 and 2003). The reasoning behind this drop in mobility may stem from the fact that America’s population is aging (the older people don’t move that often), the increase of two-earner households (it’s more difficult to relocate when both partners need to change their jobs), or from the indisputable detail that Americans are not switching jobs as often as they used to.
Why do Americans move?
Here are the typical reasons why Americans relocate to other areas:
Companies, like people, are also trying to cut overhead costs by relocating to another city, state or foreign country. This change means that the company’s employees and their families will also have to move as well if they would like to keep their current jobs.
Moreover, finding a better job in another area within the country or abroad is a strong incentive for most to relocate. Or if the commuting time to work approaches or exceeds an hour one way, some people would prefer to move closer to their workplace than to waste two hours, at least, in traffic every single workday.
Home becomes too small
In the majority of cases, the homes of first-time owners feel smaller and smaller with each newly-added family member. And therefore, a move to a larger house with more living space becomes a necessity.
Home becomes too big
Downsizing is a good option for people whose children have moved out from the family home. If all of a sudden the maintenance of a large house gets to be a burden and the maintenance costs start climbing, relocating to a smaller home should definitely be considered.
The grass is always greener…
People tend to want the things they don’t have. So, a bigger and more luxurious home in a beautiful place with pleasant climatic conditions is a logical choice for any individual who can afford it.
When couples move in together or get married, it’s only natural that one of the parties relocate to the other person’s home. Sadly enough, break-ups are a good reason for people to want to move away.
After a lifetime of hard work, most retirees feel that they have earned their ticket to a warm, beautiful and peaceful place where they can enjoy the remainder of their lives. And no matter whether the move will be to a retirement community or to any of the top retirement destinations abroad, the best way to decide if such relocation is the right choice for retired people or not is a long-term vacation of several months to the selected destination. Such a vacation will help them see if a permanent move there will fit their new lifestyle.
Neighborhood is no longer the same
Some neighborhoods change for the worse economically or socially, or even both. In fact, the change in the immediate surroundings may be so drastic that people will perceive the living conditions as intolerable and be forced to find a new home elsewhere.
People with physical ailments, such as back or knee problems, will find it hard to climb up and down the stairs of a two-story house on a daily basis. Therefore, a one-story home will be much more practical in such cases. Or, for various reasons, the aging population may choose to enjoy a much more tranquil lifestyle at assisted living housing.
Pursuing a dream
And there are those who have had the itch to change their lifestyles drastically and put their time and effort into realizing a life-long dream of theirs – to travel and explore the world, to pursue a hobby or to just be less dependent on material things. These are the people who are willing to relocate frequently in search of the right place and the right people, in search of the calling that will help them find new meaning in their lives.
All things considered, statistical data remain nothing but mere numbers. The reasons behind each move are much more personal, unique and more often than not – complicated.
And whenever the time to relocate to a new location comes around the corner and asks for you by name, the first step of the preparation process is usually to get an idea of how much the move will cost you.
Posted on Feb 21, 2014; Last updated: Nov 26, 2014