Who Moves? Who Stays?

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Recent data from the Pew Research Center gives insight into the demographic profile of US citizens and their moving behavior relative to age, location, and education level. Some highlights: 37% of people have never lived outside their hometowns, 57% of adults have never lived outside their home state, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, only 15% of people have lived in four or more states. The effect of college is a significant difference between ‘movers’ and ‘stayers’ – 77% of college graduates have changed communities at least once compared to only 56% for high school graduates.

The above graph shows the age profile for movers. Most movers are between the age of 18 and 35. There is an initial peak at 18 years old as a large portion of people leave high school for college and there is an even higher peak for movement post college graduation. The most likely age someone will move is around 24 years old – about 37% of people change locations at this age. The graph below shows the net regional US migration patterns in 2007. The South and West are making the largest population gains at the expense of the Northeast and Midwest.

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