NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tending To Stay Put

November 14, 2000

Americans aren't moving around as much as they used to. Mobility rates have gradually declined over the past four decades. That is not to say that the actual numbers of movers has declined. Those numbers go up simply because of population growth.

But we do appear to be putting down more stable roots.

  • Since the 1960s, the share of the population changing residences annually has gradually declined from 20 percent to less than 16 percent.
  • Toni Horst, of Inc., predicts that America's falling mobility rate will slow or stabilize in the next 10 years.
  • That's because the nation's industrial base is shifting toward industries associated with greater mobility -- as well as an approaching short-term rise in the proportion of highly mobile young adults.

In the long run, however, the downward trend in mobility is expected to resume due to the aging of the population, the rise in dual income households, the growth of telecommuting and increased home ownership.

Source: Gene Koretz, "Mobility, American-Style," Business Week, November 20, 2000.


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