Geographical mobility has long been an important aspect of American life. This report highlights some of the changes that have occurred in recent years, including differences in the extent of movement, in the types of movement, in the characteristics of movers compared with nonmovers, and in how the population is distributed. These changes are important to federal, state, and local governments as they plan for needed services and facilities such as schools and hospitals. Geographical mobility data are also used by private industry as they expand and locate businesses and other services.
All respondents in the March 2000 Current Population Survey were asked whether they lived at the same residence 1 year earlier. Nonmovers were living in the same home at both dates. Movers were asked for the location of their previous residence. When current and previous residences are compared, movers can be categorized by whether they were living in the same or different county, state, region, or were movers from abroad. Though not true in all cases,we treat these different types of moves as if they form a distance continuum. In addition, movers can be categorized by whether they moved within or between metropolitan areas, central cities of metropolitan areas, other parts of metropolitan areas, or nonmetropolitan areas of the United States.