How Often Do People Move Across the Country

September 28, 2023 / Posted in Relocation Psychology
Diana Road

A talented writer from Wichita, Kansas, with a passion for helping people navigate the stressful process of moving. With her extensive knowledge of the moving industry, Diana has become a go-to resource for useful info

Relocating across the country is a significant decision, whether it’s for career advancements, family ties, or simply the call of a new landscape. But how often do people move exactly? Let’s dive into the statistics and facts that shed light on the frequency of this major life-changing decision.

Girl looking through the window
Dive into the stats behind these life-changing decisions

How often does the average person move in the US? The average American tends to move roughly 12 times during their lifetime. While the reasons for cross-country relocating may vary, economics, job opportunities, cost of living, and housing affordability are primary factors that dictate relocation patterns across the nation. As economic landscapes shift, so do the migration tendencies of the populace.

How Often Do People Move in the US?

People in the United States are known for their mobility, often relocating for jobs, family, or personal reasons. According to the US Census Bureau’s data, it’s estimated that around 10-11% of the US population moves each year. This means that over 30 million Americans change their residence annually. However, not all of these are cross-country relocations. Many are local or within the same state.

Moreover, throughout their lives, the average American tends to move about 12 times, driven by career shifts, aspirations for bigger homes, or the allure of new neighborhoods and dream locations. When it comes to cross-country moving statistics, it’s estimated that around 15% relocate to a different state. This percentage has seen a slight decline in recent decades, but in absolute numbers, it represents millions of Americans who undertake interstate relocations annually.

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How Often Do Americans Move – Trends and Changes in Interstate Migration

Historically speaking, migration rates were higher in the 20th century, especially during periods of economic booms or significant societal changes. However, by the 21st century, there’s been a slight decline in the overall mobility rate of Americans. Some researchers attribute this to various factors, including economic shifts, an aging population, and evolving family structures.

There’s been a noticeable trend of people moving from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West. Economic opportunities, cost of living, housing affordability, different climates, and lifestyle changes are among the top reasons people cite for interstate relocations. Here are the top ten inbound states:

  • Texas,
  • Florida,
  • South Carolina,
  • North Carolina,
  • Georgia,
  • Tennessee,
  • Nevada,
  • Maine,
  • Delaware,
  • Idaho.
Pinned map of the United States of America
Unpacking the evolution of American migration and the rising allure of the South and West

What Are the Reasons for Cross-Country Moves?

Relocation to another state is often prompted by a myriad of motivations that reflect the evolving priorities and circumstances of an individual’s life. Central among these is the pursuit of job opportunities, as individuals frequently relocate to regions where their career prospects seem brighter or where they’ve secured a new position.

Alongside professional reasons, many are drawn by the allure of a different lifestyle, whether it’s the vibrant rhythm of urban locales, the tranquility of rural settings, or simply the appeal of a new environment and culture. Family considerations play a pivotal role as well. Many are relocating for love or to be closer to their family, while others might relocate with kids in search of a more conducive environment for their children.

It’s crucial to understand that these decisions are deeply intertwined with one’s life stage and unique circumstances. For instance, a recent college graduate might be drawn to metropolitan hubs for work and social opportunities, while a retiree might prioritize peaceful locales or proximity to family.

Career Aspirations and the Lure of Industry Hubs

Work opportunities significantly drive individual and collective decisions about relocation. In a rapidly evolving global economy, industries rise and wane in various regions, creating pockets of opportunities that individuals often pursue for a better livelihood. Cities or regions with a concentration of certain industries, be it tech in Silicon Valley or finance in New York, naturally magnetize a workforce with relevant skills.

Moreover, companies offering attractive employee packages, benefits, and growth prospects further act as a pull factor. For many, a promising job offer or the prospect of climbing the corporate ladder in a thriving environment overshadows other considerations, making relocation a worthwhile endeavor.

On the flip side, areas with dwindling job markets or industries facing decline often see an exodus of workers searching for greener pastures. In essence, the quest for better work opportunities and career advancement remains a pivotal factor in determining migration patterns and individual choices to relocate across cities, states, or even countries.

A resume, planner, coffee, and keyboard
Relocation offers new job opportunities

New and More Accessible Environment

People are often motivated to relocate due to the allure of a new environment and increased accessibility. A change in scenery can offer a refreshing perspective, stimulating both personal and professional growth. Simultaneously, accessibility to essential services, amenities, or job opportunities can significantly improve one’s quality of life.

When making such a move, bringing one’s vehicle along for the journey becomes crucial. That is why it is important to think about booking a car shipping company for the job on time. A professional auto transport service ensures safe relocation and immediate mobility in the new locale, making the transition easy and smooth.

More Affordable Cost of Living

The allure of a more affordable cost of living stands as a compelling reason for many individuals and families to consider relocating. In an era where economic disparities are increasingly pronounced between different regions, the promise of a life where one’s earnings stretch further can be a powerful draw.

This doesn’t just pertain to housing, though certainly, the prospect of owning a home or renting a larger space for a fraction of the cost in another city is attractive. It extends to everyday expenses: groceries, transportation, healthcare, and education. Areas with a lower cost of living allow residents to enjoy a better quality of life, save more money, and potentially achieve financial milestones, such as homeownership or early retirement, more feasibly.

For many, especially those on fixed incomes or with growing families, this can mean the difference between just getting by and thriving. Thus, as cities and regions become prohibitively expensive, the appeal of areas where the cost of living is more manageable becomes a significant factor in migration decisions.

Education’s Influence on Global Migration Patterns

Education and academics serve as cornerstone factors in migration and relocation decisions for numerous individuals and families across the globe. The pursuit of knowledge, be it for oneself or one’s children, often takes precedence in life choices. Regions boasting prestigious educational institutions, research facilities, or specialized training centers naturally attract a demographic eager to access top-tier academic experiences.

Families, in particular, may prioritize regions with highly-rated school districts, envisioning better educational trajectories and future opportunities for their children. For students, the allure of nice college dorms, renowned universities, or specialized programs can shape their decisions about where to live and study.

Furthermore, academics seeking to advance their careers might be drawn to institutions that offer robust research funding, collaborative opportunities, or a reputation of excellence in their field. In essence, the quest for academic excellence and the myriad opportunities it affords plays a pivotal role in influencing migration patterns, guiding choices from early education to advanced research and professorship.

Being Closer to Family

Being closer to family stands as one of the most deeply personal and emotional reasons for relocation. The bonds of kinship and the comfort of familiar faces often pull individuals toward their roots, especially during significant life changes.

New parents might relocate closer to grandparents, seeking support and desiring to foster intergenerational connections. Similarly, as parents age, adult children might relocate to provide care, ensure well-being, or simply cherish the golden years together.

Beyond immediate needs, the sheer joy of celebrating festivals, milestones, and everyday moments with loved ones can be a strong motivator. In a world increasingly characterized by digital connections, the physical proximity to family offers an irreplaceable sense of belonging and security.

Family standing on the quayside
Being closer to one's loved ones is the fuel behind most relocation decisions

How Do Economic Factors Influence the Moving Patterns

Economic factors exert a significant influence on relocation patterns, often acting as both the push and pull for individuals and families considering relocation. At the heart of this dynamic is the job market. Regions with thriving industries and robust employment opportunities tend to attract individuals from areas with less economic vitality.

However, the allure of job opportunities is intricately balanced with housing costs. Cities with burgeoning job markets but exorbitant living costs might deter potential movers or push existing residents out, seeking more affordable places to live. This balance between job availability and housing affordability creates distinctive relocation patterns.

For instance, while a booming tech industry might draw talent to metropolitan areas, rising housing prices in these hubs could simultaneously lead to a surge in migration to neighboring, more affordable regions. Hence, the dance between economic prospects and the cost of living becomes a crucial determinant when deciding where to live.

Woman calculating her monthly budget
Monthly budgeting and the chance to save can inspire a cross-country relocation as well

What Are the Benefits of Cross-Country Moving

Relocation, while challenging, offers a plethora of relocation benefits that can profoundly impact an individual’s personal and professional trajectory. At a professional level, relocation to a new state often opens doors to diverse job markets, providing access to new roles, industries, or networks that might be absent in one’s original locale.

This can lead to career advancements, higher earnings, or simply a more fulfilling job experience. On a personal front, this can be a journey of self-discovery. Immersing oneself in a new culture, environment, or community fosters adaptability, resilience, and a broader perspective on life. It offers a chance to meet new people, form meaningful relationships, and learn from experiences that would have been otherwise inaccessible.

Hiring Cross-Country Movers Can Make the Relocation an Easy Process

Hiring long-distance movers can dramatically streamline the relocation process, transforming what could be a daunting task into a manageable and stress-free endeavor. Utilizing the expertise of Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving and our packing services ensures that your belongings are stored with care and delivered efficiently to your new home.

Additionally, if you’re planning to bring your vehicle along, contracting our auto transport company becomes essential. With the help of our long-distance moving services, you can have peace of mind, knowing that both your household items and your vehicle are in capable hands, as we will ensure a seamless transition to your future location.

Cross-country movers carrying a box
Book our cross-country movers for a smooth transition

No Matter the Reason, It Is Important That the Move Brings You Good Life Changes

Regardless of your reasons for relocating, the ultimate aim should be to usher in beneficial life changes. Whether driven by career prospects, family connections, or the allure of a new beginning, the end result should be an improved quality of life marked by joy and satisfaction. Engaging a legitimate long-distance moving company can make this transition smoother and anxiety-free, ensuring that the logistical aspects of the relocation are handled professionally.

Each relocation is distinctive, and with the expertise of Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving by your side, you can navigate toward your dream destination with ease. Our services will ensure that your possessions are handled with the utmost care, setting the perfect foundation for the next chapter. If you are in need of further guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. Let’s ensure your fresh start is a bright one.


How Common Is It for People to Move Across the Country in The US?

In the US, it’s not unusual for individuals to relocate cross-country, often in pursuit of better opportunities or lifestyle changes. Data from the US Census Bureau indicates that each year, millions embark on such journeys, representing a substantial fraction of the nation’s total domestic migration.

What Are Some of the Main Reasons That People Choose to Relocate Across the Country?

Many individuals choose to relocate across the country driven by professional aspirations, such as new job opportunities or educational pursuits. Others are influenced by personal factors, such as family ties, the allure of a different lifestyle, or plans for retirement.

How Do Economic Factors, Such as Job Opportunities and Housing Costs, Influence Cross-Country Moves?

Economic pull and push factors, such as thriving job markets or high housing costs, significantly influence people’s decisions to relocate. While robust job opportunities might attract individuals, prohibitive living costs can deter them or even drive them away.

How Has the Rise of Remote Work and Technology Impacted the Frequency of Cross-Country Relocations?

The surge in remote work capabilities has decreased the necessity for job-related relocations. Technology allows employees to work virtually anywhere, offering flexibility and reducing the stress of relocating without a job.

Are There Specific Industries or Professions That Tend to Lead To More Cross-Country Moves?

Industries like tech, finance, and academia, which have central hubs or offer specialized roles, often require relocation. Similarly, fields with project-based roles, like construction or consulting, may necessitate frequent relocations.

How Do Military Assignments and Government Transfers Contribute to Cross-Country Relocations?

Military personnel often receive orders to relocate to different bases, both nationally and internationally. Government jobs, especially federal positions, might also involve transfers between states or to/from the capital.

What Are Some Common Challenges That Individuals and Families Face When Moving Across the Country?

One of the biggest challenges faced by individuals and families when moving cross-country involves the logistical intricacies of shipping personal belongings and setting up a new home. Beyond this, the emotional toll of leaving a familiar environment, coupled with practical issues like securing suitable housing or schools and acclimating to new surroundings, can be particularly daunting.

What Benefits Can Come From Making a Cross-Country Move in Terms of Personal and Professional Growth?

Cross-country relocation can open doors to novel professional opportunities, allowing individuals to diversify their skill sets and enhance their career trajectories. On a personal front, exposure to different experiences and the potential to forge new relationships can significantly contribute to your personal growth, broadening your horizons and enriching your overall life perspective.

Are There Certain Demographic or Generational Groups That Are More Likely to Move Across the Country?

Young adults, especially recent graduates, frequently relocate across the country, lured by educational opportunities and career prospects. On the other hand, many retirees relocate to find locales that offer a peaceful environment, better amenities, or more cost-effective living.

What Resources and Tools Are Available to Help Individuals Plan and Execute a Successful Cross-Country Move?

When planning a cross-country relocation, you can rely on a wealth of resources to ensure a smooth transition. Some of the most valuable resources include:

  • Professional moving companies – many businesses specialize specifically in long-distance relocations, providing services such as packing, transportation, and unpacking.
  • Moving apps and online tools – these can help with inventory management, relocation checklists, and budget calculators.
  • Moving insurance providers – they offer protection for your belongings during the move.
  • Government websites – sites like USPS offer address change services, and state websites provide crucial information on vehicle registration and licensing in your new location.
  • Online forums and blogs – these platforms can provide moving tips and are good for people to share experiences and recommendations.
  • Local community boards – websites like Nextdoor can give insights into your new community and even offer local moving-related recommendations.
  • Utility setup and transfer services – websites that assist in transferring or setting up utilities in the new location can be invaluable, ensuring you have essential services from day one.

Using a combination of these resources, individuals can effectively strategize and execute a successful cross-country relocation.

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