Nov 24, 2017

Americans aren't moving as much as they used to

There is more evidence that Americans move less frequently than they ever have, according to mobility rate data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Only 11% of Americans moved in 2016 compared to around 20% in the 1950s and 1960s.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: This decline is due to a number of factors including a rise in homeownership, an aging U.S. population, the 2007-2009 recession and higher school debt among young adults, according to analysis by the Brookings Institute.

  • Moving motives: Local, within-county moves make up three-fifths of total moves and reached an all-time low of 6.8% this year, while longer distance moves actually increased compared to the past two years. William Frey from Brookings points out that housing and life changes, like marriage and kids, often motivate in-county moves, while job opportunities tend to spur long distant moves.
  • Renters: Traditionally, the mobility rate has been much higher among renters than homeowners, but even renters have seen a great decline in the percentage of people who move location in a given year. This could be indicative of the growing affordability problem in the housing market.
  • Millennials: The data showed that millennials' local mobility has remained relatively low at around 12% for older millennials, but the percentage of millennials making long-distance moves is rising, now at 3.3% — the highest rate in more than a decade.

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Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Despite a robust economy and low unemployment, household income hasn't changed much in the past 20 years.

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Census data projects shift in states' congressional power

Data: Brookings analysis of U.S. Census data; Table: Naema Ahmed/Axios

California is projected to lose a congressional seat for the first time next year, while states President Trump won such as Texas and Florida will likely gain seats, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

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The 2010s saw a fall in the number of American kids

Data: William H. Frey analysis of U.S. Census estimates released Dec 30, 2019; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

There are 1.1 million fewer children living in the U.S. today than there were at the start of the decade, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

The big picture: The adult population grew by 8.8% in the 2010s. in the three previous decades, the child population increased. The past decade marks a pivotal moment as the U.S. ages and, as a result, family life is transformed — especially because Americans are waiting longer to have children and having fewer of them.

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