Americans are decreasingly willing )or able) to move … “mobility” in sharp decline.

According to NextGov:

Mobility in the United States has fallen to record lows.

In 1985, nearly 20 percent of Americans had changed their residence within the preceding 12 months, but by 2018, fewer than ten percent had.

That’s the lowest level since 1948, when the Census Bureau first started tracking mobility.


What’s going on?


Some folks are economically locked into their current homes …  their homes may still be under water from the financial crisis, they may be loaded with debt (think: credit cards and student loans), or they may have low interest mortgages that they’re reluctant to give up.

But, a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York “suggests that other, more emotional and psychological factors may be at work.”

The Fed calls these people “the rooted”:

Moving is about more than finding a job or a more affordable home; it’s a highly personal decision with deep psychological costs.

A significant reason for the decline in mobility is that many of us are highly attached to our towns.

Nearly half of those in the survey (47 percent) identify as rooted.

Their reasons for not moving are more psychological than economic: proximity to family and friends, and their involvement in the local community or church.

Said differently, the personal costs of moving—and leaving family members, loved ones, and friends behind—are quite high.

Taken together, the “economically stuck”and the rooted make up almost 2/3s of the population.

The remainder — the “mobiles” who are willing and able to move — are increasingly requiring a bigger bump in pay or a much, much better home and community to even consider moving.



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2 Responses to “Americans are decreasingly willing )or able) to move … “mobility” in sharp decline.”

  1. Da Cuz Says:

    Wow!! Things have changed. I have had 15 houses over the years- in every city I lived I had 2-3 houses. My mother probably said it the best “ thank god your brother is not a ghost” he had 3 total. My wife is so experienced in moving she can get us on and off a truck in 2-3 days. During moves I do what I do best – stay out of her way. She runs the moving crew. We’re only 75 so probably still have 2-3 moves left in us. The best thing about moving is you don’t have to paint them.

  2. Da Cuz Says:

    Sorry- that comment from my mother was “ thank god your brother is not a gypsy”

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