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ASEC User Note: Updates to Reasons for Moving Categories: 2020

In 2020, there were two updates to the reason for moving categories – the addition of a new category, “relationship with unmarried partner (boy/girlfriend, fiancé, etc.)”, and the revision of an existing one, to “wanted newer/better/larger house or apartment”.

The unmarried partner category addition was added to improve the usefulness of the specific reason codes, and to help distinguish this type of move from the family-related reasons (because the Census definition of family members is limited to those related by birth, marriage, or adoption). The new category appeared fourth on the list, immediately after the family-related reasons, but was collapsed generally with the “other” reasons for moving, with codes 16 through 20 in 2020. Because this was a noteworthy change to the coding scheme as of 2020, caution is recommended when comparing specific reason for move category estimates with those from 2019 and earlier, particularly for the family-related reasons and specific “other” reasons category.

The housing improvements and upgrades category language was revised, to read “wanted newer/better/larger house or apartment”, from “wanted new or better house/apartment”. The intent was to clarify intent of the category, to include newer housing (not only new construction) and larger housing as a type of housing unit improvement. Because this category includes the more inclusive language as of 2020, some caution is recommended when comparing these estimates for 2020 with estimates for 2019 and earlier.

More detailed information is available in the CPS ASEC technical documentation (and the 2020 reason for move category updates are reflected in the 2020 ASEC questionnaire facsimile): https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/technical-documentation/complete.html


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