Not Moving

Over the past 50 or more years, there has been an intriguing trend – fewer people moving. That is moving anywhere. From down the road to across the country, there is simply less interest in finding a new place to live.

In the past 30 years alone, the percentage of the US population moving has been cut in half from about 17% to 8.7%. That is not a trivial shift in the underlying dynamics of the US economy. Putting numbers to it, more than 40 million  people moved in 1992 and only 28.2 million in 2022. That is quite the shift. 

It also runs counter to some intuition. With the tailwind of ever lower interest rates, it would be sensical to think that labor would be increasingly mobile. That does not appear to be the case.  And it may continue to be the case as the rise of “work-from-anywhere” continues at the expense of commercial real estate. In any event, this is a long-term trend that shows little to no sign of stopping.

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