U.S. Residents Move Less than ever, According to Multiple Sources
Looking to move soon? If so, you’re part of a shrinking minority of Americans, according to various reports.
A recent report in The Atlantic says that the average American moves about eleven times in his or her lifetime. While that figure is significantly higher than the four moves an average European makes, it is lower than it has been in a long time.
While tempting to attribute the movement of Americans to various far-flung outposts between the oceans to the American spirit, or some other vague-but-deeply-ingrained aspect of our national character, the real reason for the mobility gap is much simpler: work.
Americans spend less time at a single job than Europeans do, for one. And our labor regulations and common language allow us to move great distances without learning new words or cultural customs.
But why the decline in movement? Working-age adults are moving half as often as they did in the 1980’s for two reasons, according to Adam Chandler, the article’s author. First, the working population is an aging demographic. Older people in general are less likely to move. Second, the rapidly changing nature of the American workplace necessitates moving far less often than it used to. Telecommuting, for instance, has increased at a rate of 103% since 2005, according to research firm Global Workplace Analytics.
Is this a New Trend?
One other reason Americans are on the move less? Well, in part it’s because moving was never something most people tended or wanted to do.
According to a 2015 New York Times article, the average American lives a mere 18 miles from his or her mother. Predictably, people in the overwhelmingly rural Mountain West live furthest from their mothers, averaging 44 miles. Those living closest to home, so to speak, live in the denser mid-Atlantic states, as well as the non-coastal South.
While many people are moving less, the tendency to relocate is usually a sign of a healthy, robust economy. Additionally, traveling to faraway places and getting familiar with new landscapes and people has known health benefits.
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