Census Bureau: Americans moving to new homes at lowest rate on record

Census Bureau data found that only 8.4% of Americans live in a different house in 2021 than they did in 2020, marking the lowest rate on file amid an aging population and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Nov. 25 (UPI) — Americans are moving out of their current homes and into new homes at the lowest rate in 70 years, U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday indicates.

The data showed 8.4% of Americans live in a different house than they lived in a year ago as 27.1 million people moved homes from 2020 to 2021, both the lowest figures since the Census Bureau began recording moving data in 1948.

Cheryl Russell, author of the Demo Memo blog on demographic trends, told The Hill that the number of Americans who move from one home to another has been on the decline for decades with about one in five Americans moving homes in any year in the 1950s-1960s and dropping to 11.6% a decade ago.

Edward Berchick, a senior population scientist at Zillow, said an aging population and fallout from both the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to Americans moving less.

“Right now there’s a lot of uncertainty about longer term plans,” Berchick said. “With some economic uncertainty, people just pause their plans.”

Stephan D. Whitaker, a policy economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told CNN that movement out of “high-cost, large metro areas” increased during the pandemic.

“However, many other types of moves, both long distance and local, declined,” said Whitaker. “Summing all these moves reveals that, overall, fewer people relocated during the first year of the pandemic.”


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