IG of the Day: Staying Put

Geographic mobility within the United States has been declining steadily since the late 1980s. Only 11.6 percent of U.S. residents moved between 2010 and 2011, down from 12.5 percent the previous year. It was the lowest rate since 1948.

William H. Frey with the Brookings Institution attributes that decline to two broad factors. First, long-distance migration (moving to new counties or states) is off due to the recession and crash in housing prices. Second, a fall-off in local mobility is explained by the aging of the population and high rates of home ownership. “Adult college graduates, the lifeblood of the national labor market, are not finding jobs in new places, and appear to be staying in their homes,” Frey says. “Meanwhile, young adults in their early 20s — newly graduated from college or starting out in life — are moving much less, especially between counties, than just five years ago.”

Fast-growth metropolises in the Sun Belt are seeing fewer newcomers. Donor states such as California, New York and Massachusetts are leaking fewer of their college grads.

Virginia, according to Frey’s data, bucked the trend. It is one of nine states that experienced net in-migration between 2005 and 2007 and then increased the net in-migration between 2008 and 2010. My guess is that Northern Virginia, with an economy propped up by federal spending, accounts for most of those gains. It is worth noting, however, that Maryland continued to lose migrants, though at a slower rate than previously.


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One response to “IG of the Day: Staying Put”

  1. anyone who is in a home that is “under water” is not going to sell and owe the balance on the mortgage unless they have absolutely no choice.

    Even a new job with a higher salary will have to be weighed with respect of how much salary increase verses how much they would owe on the mortgage.

    The folks who end up have their land taken by ED now and get compensated according to the lower values may actually end up in debt if the amount of compensation will not cover the mortgage debt.

    and I don’t think this is going to get “fixed” – not any time soon.. and maybe not anytime for a long time as it has become clear to many just what a catastrophic policy it is for the govt to incentivize home ownership.

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