Changes in Marital Status Becomes Top Reason for Moves in 2022

Photo: US Department of Commerce

(WNY News Now) – Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau highlights a shift in reasons for moving within the United States in 2022, with changes in marital status taking the lead, while the desire for improved housing or neighborhoods decreased.

Recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals notable shifts in the motivations behind residential moves within the United States in 2022. The most significant change was the rise in people relocating due to changes in marital status, a trend potentially driven by individuals resuming plans postponed during the pandemic.

According to the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), housing-related reasons remained the most common motivation for moving, accounting for 41.6% of moves in 2022. However, this percentage decreased compared to the previous year. Specifically, the desire for a newer or larger home dipped, suggesting a reversal of the housing demand surge seen in 2020 during the early pandemic months.

The share of individuals seeking a better neighborhood or lower crime rates also declined, though it remained higher than pre-pandemic levels. Family-related reasons, including changes in marital status, accounted for the second-largest group of movers.

Notably, the data indicates a stable overall geographic mobility despite changing reasons and types of moves. Although moves within the same county remained the most common type, their share decreased significantly in 2022, hitting the lowest level since 1948. Meanwhile, moves between different counties within the same state and between states held steady, and moves from abroad doubled, likely reflecting the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Despite these shifts, the mover rate in 2022 remained historically low and similar to the previous year, with no significant change in the total number of movers.

The Census Bureau cautions that COVID-19-related factors may have influenced mobility estimates for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Furthermore, changes to the survey’s reason for moving categories were implemented in 2020 and 2021. The data also noted no significant impact from using 2020 Census population controls for 2022 estimates compared to previous years.

For more detailed information and historical tables, the Census Bureau offers additional resources and technical documentation on their findings.

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