The Economic Perspective: “Why Are We Staying Put?”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks why we are staying put.  Mike, Americans have had a reputation of being movers.   When our nation was young, pioneers moved west.  Later, families moved from farms to cities, and then from cities to suburbs.  Recently, retirees have been moving from where they worked often to warmer climates.  Has the pace of our movement continued?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Actually, it’s declined
  • The percentage of US households who moved during the year declined from 20% in 1985 to 10% today – a 50% drop
  • Reasons
  • Jobs are now much more similar across the country – less reason to move
  • Surveys show people are more attached to their city and family and friends
  • Country is more similar –same chain stores, news, etc. – less excitement in a new place
  • Cost of moving
  • Also, if have bad personal economy, will have local support
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.