Nearly 1 in 10 in the U.S. Want to Move, Census Bureau Reports


WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 19, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Nearly 10 percent of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety or public services to the point that they want to move, according to a U.S. Census Bureau reportreleased today. However, only 18.3 percent of the 11.2 million householders who wanted to move actually did so between 2010 and 2011.

“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.”

The report, Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011, looks at the characteristics of householders who desired to move and their subsequent mobility pattern from 2010 to 2011 using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. This survey follows an initial sample, also referred to as a panel, of about 50,000 households for several years. Below highlights characteristics from 2010.

Who wants to move?

  • Young householders: About 14.6 percent of householders age 16 to 34 reported a desire to move, com­pared with 10.4 percent of house­holders age 35 to 54, and 6.3 percent of householders age 55 and older.
  • Renters: 16.5 percent of all householders who rented desired to move, more than twice the rate for homeowners.
  • Householders living in impoverished areas: Of homeowners who desired to move, the average census tract (neighborhood) poverty rate was 13.7 percent. For all homeowners, the average neighborhood poverty rate was 10.3 percent.
  • Householders with children: 14.3 percent of households with children desired to move compared with 8.7 percent of households without children.
  • Householders with a disability: 12.5 percent of householders with a disability reported a desire to move versus 8.2 percent of those without a disability.

Why do householders want to move?

  • 6.1 percent reported dissatisfaction with housing conditions.
  • 4.7 percent reported dissatisfaction with their neighborhood.
  • 4.1 percent reported dissatisfaction with local safety.
  • 1.8 percent reported dissatisfaction with public services.

About the survey

The Survey of Income and Program Participation is a household-based survey designed as a continuous series of national panels. Each panel features a nationally representative sample interviewed over a period lasting approximately four years. The survey is a source of data for a variety of topics and provides for the integration of information for separate topics to form a single, unified database. This allows for the examination of the interaction between tax, transfer and other government and private policies.

Government policy formulators depend heavily upon the survey for information on the distribution of income and the success of government assistance programs. The survey collects information for assistance received either directly as money or indirectly as in-kind benefits. The collected data provide the most extensive information available on how the nation’s economic well-being changes over time, which has been the survey’s defining characteristic since its inception in 1983.


Virginia Hyer
Public Information Office
email: <>

Previous articleEnergy Department Selects 11 Tribal Communities to Deploy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies
Next articleMBA Releases 2014 Rankings of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Firms’ Origination Volumes