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About 36 Million Americans Moved in the Last Year, Census Bureau Reports

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 18, 2013

About 36 Million Americans Moved in the Last Year, Census Bureau Reports

Press Release Number CB13-192

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 35.9 million U.S. residents, or 11.7 percent of all Americans, moved between 2012 and 2013.

The nation's mover rate is down from 12.0 percent in 2012. The decline in the nation's overall mover rate follows an uptick from the record low of 11.6 percent in 2011. That leaves the 2013 mover rate not statistically different from the 2011 rate. The number of people who moved in the past year was not statistically different from the corresponding 2012 number (36.5 million).

This information comes from Geographical Mobility: 2012 to 2013, a collection of national- and regional-level tables from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey. The tables describe the movement of people in the United States, including type of move, reason for moving, distance moved and characteristics of those who moved one year earlier.

"Relatively few of these movers traveled long distances," said David Ihrke, a demographer with the Census Bureau's Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch. "In fact, nearly two-thirds stayed in the same county."

Even those who did leave their county didn't move all that far away either: 40.2 percent of intercounty movers relocated less than 50 miles away. Only 24.7 percent moved 500 or more miles to their new location.

Renters were far more mobile than homeowners, as 24.9 percent moved between 2012 and 2013, compared with 5.1 percent of owners.

Other highlights:

  • The Northeast had the lowest mover rate among regions (7.8 percent), followed by the Midwest (11.0 percent), South (12.8 percent) and West (13.4 percent).
  • The single-race black population had the highest mover rate (15.0 percent) among race and ethnic groups, followed by Hispanics (13.9 percent), single-race Asians (12.6 percent) and single-race whites who were not Hispanic (10.3 percent).
  • Between 2012 and 2013, 18.9 percent of the unemployed (age 16 and older) moved, compared with 11.9 percent of employed civilians and 8.9 percent of people not in the labor force.
  • The most common reasons for moving were housing-related (48.0 percent). Family-related and employment-related reasons followed, at 30.3 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively.
  • People living below the poverty threshold were more transient than the nation as a whole, as 20.5 percent moved in the last year.
  • Families with a householder between 15 and 54 were most likely to move if they lived with their own child under 6. Among these families, 20.5 percent of families with just children under 6 moved, and 14.4 percent with a mix of children under 6 and between 6 and 17 moved in the last year.

Also released today were updated historical graphs and charts on migration with some data extending as far back as 1948.


Data in this report are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling errors include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage. More details covering the design methodology are available online at <//www.census.gov/prod/techdoc/cps/cpsmar13.pdf> [PDF - 2.0 MB].


Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office

Page Last Revised - December 16, 2021
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