NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Americans On The Move Once Again

May 31, 2001

Although the nation's overall mobility rate declined in the 1990s, two Census estimates just out show that out-of-state moves have increased for the second consecutive year. Experts say the reason, quite simply, is jobs.

  • From March 1999 to March 2000, 19.3 percent of movers went to a different state -- up from 15 percent two years earlier and 18 percent last year.
  • When they make a move, most people stay within the same county -- 56 percent of them last year -- but such moves have been drifting downward in the past 20 years and they continue to decline.
  • From 1999 to 2000, 16 percent of the U.S. population -- or 43 million people -- moved.
  • More than two-thirds of people who moved to other counties and other states did so because they had a new job or a job transfer.

Better-educated people move longer distances for better-paying jobs. Some 47 percent of movers with a bachelor's degree moved to another county -- compared to 34 percent of those with less than a high school education.

Source: Haya El Nasser, "Out-of-State Moves Are Up for 2nd Year," USA Today, May 31, 2001.


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