Written by Jenn Cosgrove
The United States is still one of the most mobile countries in the world:
According to recent surveys, 24 percent of Americans reported moving from their city or area in the past five years. That’s comparable to New Zealand (26%), Finland (23%), and Norway (22%).
New U.S. Census data show that the great slowdown in migration caused by the recession is starting to give way. In 2012, “domestic migration” was as high as it’s been in the past five years,nearly 16.9 million people moved between counties, with long-distance interstate moves accounting for about 7 million of those.
Movement between counties largely reflects people moving because of jobs, demographers said.
Overall, the increase signals both a healthier economy and future growth because it means more workers are being matched with jobs that suit their skills.
Among those moving more were 25-to-29-year-olds, indicating that many young people who were stymied by the weak labor market of recent years were finding jobs and moving on with their lives, said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.
The American Moving & Storage Association reports that in January and February, 5.4 percent more households moved this year than last. The report is based on data from the nine largest moving companies.
Americans are also making more international moves. The annual rate of expatriation is growing as over 150,000 Americans moved internationally in the past year.
According to U.S. Department of State figures, between 1966 and 1999 the number of Americans living abroad skyrocketed from just 70,000 to an estimated four million.
Fourteen years later, the U.S. Department of State again released estimates of the number of American expats living abroad.
The new government estimate (January 2013) placed the American expat population at 6.89 million, about a 68 percent increase over the 1999 estimate and a 9.4 percent increase over its 6.3 million estimate in July 2012.