Census: Nearly 1 in 10 in the U.S. want to move

by MPA20 Mar 2015
Nearly 10% of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety or public services to the point that they want to move, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. However, only 18.3% of the 11.2 million householders who wanted to move actually did so between 2010 and 2011.

"Fifty-six percent of people who didn't move in 2010 but wanted to, no longer wanted to move when interviewed again the following year. However, this does not necessarily mean that these residents were satisfied with where they lived," said Peter Mateyka, an analyst with the Census Bureau's Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch and the report author. "Some additional factors that influence if people move include time, money, health and suitable alternative homes, which may explain why many people change their minds about moving."

The report, Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011, looks at the characteristics of householders who desired to move and their subsequent mobility pattern from 2010 to 2011 using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. This survey follows an initial sample, also referred to as a panel, of about 50,000 households for several years. Below highlights characteristics from 2010.

Who wants to move?

  • Young householders: About 14.6% of householders age 16 to 34 reported a desire to move, com­pared with 10.4% of house­holders age 35 to 54, and 6.3% of householders age 55 and older.
  • Renters: 16.5% of all householders who rented desired to move, more than twice the rate for homeowners.
  • Householders living in impoverished areas: Of homeowners who desired to move, the average census tract (neighborhood) poverty rate was 13.7%. For all homeowners, the average neighborhood poverty rate was 10.3%.
  • Householders with children: 14.3% of households with children desired to move compared with 8.7% of households without children.
  • Householders with a disability: 12.5% of householders with a disability reported a desire to move versus 8.2% of those without a disability.

Why do householders want to move?

  • 6.1% reported dissatisfaction with housing conditions.
  • 4.7% reported dissatisfaction with their neighborhood.
  • 4.1% reported dissatisfaction with local safety.
  • 1.8% reported dissatisfaction with public services.



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