Cities Lost 2 Million Movers in ’08 While Suburbs Gained Nearly the Same Number

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington, D.C.–The national mover rate declined from 13.2 percent in 2007 to 11.9 percent in 2008, the lowest since the U.S. Census began tracking this data in 1948.During this period, renters were five times more likely to move than homeowners. More than one-in-four people (27.7 percent) living in renter-occupied housing…

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington, D.C.–The national mover rate declined from 13.2 percent in 2007 to 11.9 percent in 2008, the lowest since the U.S. Census began tracking this data in 1948.During this period, renters were five times more likely to move than homeowners. More than one-in-four people (27.7 percent) living in renter-occupied housing units lived in a different residence one year earlier. By comparison, the mover rate of people living in owner-occupied housing units was 5.4 percent, according to the bureau’s survey.In 2008, 35.2 million people one year and older changed residences in the U.S. within a year, which is a decrease from 38.7 million in 2007. This is also the smallest number of residents to move since 1962.”Even though the number of people who changed residence in 2008 dropped by 3.5 million from the previous year, millions of Americans continue to move,” says Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “As we gear up for the 2010 Census, we will be looking to get an accurate count of everyone in the country, regardless of whether they moved in the past year or not.”By region, people in the South (13.5 percent) and in the West (13.2 percent) were most likely to move in 2008. The Midwest and the Northeast had mover rates of 11.1 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively. In 2008, the Midwest saw the largest decline in its mover rate from 2007.Principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2 million movers, while the suburbs had a net gain of 2.2 million movers.The most common reasons for moving were housing related (such as the desire to own a home or live in a better neighborhood), representing 40.1 percent or 14.1 million movers. The distribution among those who gave other reasons for moving was: family related (30.5 percent), employment related (20.9 percent) and other (8.5 percent).

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