Domestic Relocations Hit All-Time Low

November 25, 2019

Domestic migration in the nation hit an all-time low in 2019, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That means more Americans are choosing to stay where they are to plant roots.

During the 1960s, 20% of the national population moved to new residences each year; that figure is at 9.8% this year. Economists blame millennials for the drop, primarily because young adults are delaying life events, such as getting married and having children, that usually prompt relocation. “That’s what’s driving the real overall decline in migration,” William Frey of the Brookings Institute told

Moves are down across the board, including moves within a county, out of a county, out of state, and those coming to the U.S. from another country, census data shows. Moves within a county—most often caused by a change in marital status, children, or a desire to go from renting to owning—are down the most. The decline in mobility also is most evident among renters. In 2019, 19.7% of renters moved; in 1997, that figure was 32.9%.

Still, Frey believes in-county moves will likely rise again as millennials who have delayed homeownership, marriage, or parenthood start creating their own households. Millennials “may make some catchup moves at some point,” Frey says.

Americans Are Moving Less Than Ever Before,” (Nov. 22, 2019)