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Americans Regain Mobility in 2012

This year Americans are on the move again . / Credit: Moving van image via Shutterstock

America's get-up-and-go apparently got up and went in 2011, according to new data. The number of people moving to a new residence hit a record low last year. This year, the data show, Americans have started to get their mobility back, but most of them aren't straying too far from the ranch — the majority of people who made a move moved within the same county.

Almost 12 percent of Americans moved to a new residence this year, up from a record low of 11.6 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. About 36.5 million people 1 year and older moved, an increase from the 2011 estimate of 35.1 million.

The majority of Americans (64. 4 percent) moved within the same county.

Among the 11.8 million intercounty movers — people who moved to another county, either within the same state or to a different state — the most common distance moved (40.2 percent) was less than 50 miles.

The most frequent state-to-state move was New York to Florida (59,288 movers), followed by California to Texas (58,992) and California to Arizona (49,635).

The suburbs were the biggest gainers in 21st century population migration. Between 2005 and 2010, 17.9 million Americans moved to the suburbs and 9.2 million moved out, an increase of 8.8 million movers, the Census Bureau said. During the same period, 15.4 million people moved out of principal cities while 11 million moved in, a decrease of 4.4 million movers.

"The overall mover rate for the nation has increased since a record low. However, compared to previous years, mobility is still low for even our most mobile age group (18- to 29-year-olds)," said Alison Fields, chief of the Census Bureau's journey-to-work and migration statistics branch. "The statistics on migration come from two different surveys that, taken together, allow a clear and detailed picture of the movement of people in the U.S."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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