Mobility in America Continues to Decline
Once a nation of movers, Americans are increasingly less likely to sell their homes or leave their apartments and move across the country or even down the street. With only 11.2 percent of people moving from 2015 to 2016, American mobility is at an all-time record low. Since the 1950’s, mobility has plummeted almost 50 percent – from 21.2 percent of the population changing residence down to 11.2 percent in 2015 to 2016. While the previous decade’s stagnant change in residence can be owed partly to the economy, this downturn has been steady for over forty years.
This series of factoids gives a snapshot of current movers and what factors might determine mobility at this time in America – age, marital status, owning versus renting, and poverty status. Factoid #1 begins the series focusing on the age of movers.
By far, younger adults moved the most from 2015 to 2016. Twenty-three percent of 20 to 24 year olds and 20.1 percent of 25 to 34 year olds moved last year – double that of 35 to 44 year olds (11.1 percent). With increasing age, the percentage of an age group’s mobility declined significantly. For example, less than 4 percent of adults over age 55 moved between 2015 and 2016.
Fifty percent of all persons changing residence 2015 to 2016 were split evenly between children (24.9 percent) and young adults 25 to 34 (25 percent). Of the 35.1 million movers, 23.7 million (67.3 percent of all movers) were under the age of 35.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Geographic Mobility Rates, General Mobility by Age