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Census Bureau Report: 10 Percent of Americans Want to Move

Phil Hall
Mar 19, 2015

One out of 10 Americans are so unhappy with their current living situation that they want to move, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, of the 11.2 million people who claimed an eagerness to relocate, only 18.3 percent actually packed their bags between 2010 and 2011 and sought out better surroundings.

In the Census Bureau’s new report, “Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011,” 14.6 percent of Americans between the ages 16 and 34 reported a desire to move, compared with 10.4 percent of those between 35 and 54 and 6.3 percent of those 55 and older. Among renters, 16.5 percent expressed a wish to put their landlord behind them; in comparison, homeowners were half as likely to desire a change of living conditions.

Economics was a major factor in seeking a life elsewhere: Among homeowners who desired to move, the average neighborhood poverty rate was 13.7 percent. For all homeowners, the average neighborhood poverty rate was 10.3 percent. Roughly 14 percent households with children desired to move compared with 8.7 percent of households without children, while 12.5 percent of householders with a disability reported a desire to move versus 8.2 percent of those without a disability.

“Fifty-six percent of people who didn’t move in 2010 but wanted to, no longer wanted to move when interviewed again the following year. However, this does not necessarily mean that these residents were satisfied with where they lived,” said Peter Mateyka, an analyst with the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch and the report author. “Some additional factors that influence if people move include time, money, health and suitable alternative homes, which may explain why many people change their minds about moving.”

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