Thursday, March 19, 2015

Geographic Mobility, 2013-14

Many will be disappointed with the latest report on the nation's geographic mobility. Fewer Americans moved between 2013 and 2014 than in the previous year, and the mobility rate fell to a record low. Although the Census Bureau calls the trend in mobility "stable," the numbers are not good news for housing and other industries awaiting the return of the mobile American.

Only 11.5 percent of people aged 1 or older moved from one house to another between March 2013 and March 2014—an all-time low. The number who moved fell by 237,000 between 2012-13 and 2013-14. Here is the trend in the mobility rate since 2006-07, before the start of the Great Recession…

Geographic mobility rate
2013-14: 11.5%
2012-13: 11.7%
2011-12: 12.0%
2010-11: 11.6%
2009-10: 12.5%
2008-09: 12.5%
2007-08: 11.9%
2006-07: 13.2%

The mobility rate fell slightly for both homeowners and renters. Among homeowners, only 5.0 percent moved between 2013 and 2014. While this rate is above the record low of 4.7 percent recorded in the years 2010-11 and 2011-12, it remains far below the 7 to 9 percent that was typical in the the years prior to the Great Recession. Renters account for the 71 percent majority of movers. Among renters, 24.5 percent moved between 2013 and 2014, an all-time low. Before the Great Recession, the renter mobility rate typically exceeded 30 percent.

Source: Census Bureau, Geographic Mobility: 2013 to 2014

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