Moving is always an ordeal, ranging from minor to major depending on how you handle it. Nonetheless, it’s something that practically all of us have to undergo at least once at some point, according to moving statistics. But if it’s of any comfort, you aren’t alone in this, even if you have more than one move under your belt. You see, Americans are actually very fond of moving, as one might conclude from doing some research. Answers to questions like: “How many times does the average person move?” or “Where do people move to the most?” will reveal themselves to you once you have rifled through enough statistics. That’s a lot of stats to go through, however, and seldom few have the time or skills to peruse them properly.
If you’ve ever thought about the particulars of the moving needs the American people have, we at Verified Movers have good news for you. You don’t have to do extensive digging for info because we did it instead! Below, you will see an array of illuminating stats on the moving business and U.S. relocation habits in general. And all of it is packed in an eye-catching infographic format designed for easy navigation. Enjoy!
How much people move
The United States counts among the most mobile countries in the world. One need only look at the stats to realize this. According to the United States Census Bureau, the average person in America will move as many as 11.7 times in their life. The reasons why people relocate vary (and we will delve into that topic later on), but here are the main motivators:
- 48% of moves relate directly to the housing
- 30.3% of moves are family-related
- 19.4% of relocations have to do with a job relocation
- 2.3% of moves fall into “other”
These factors make up the reasons why nearly 31 million Americans will move on a yearly basis. Converted into households (the average American household consisting of 2.3 family members), an average of 15.3 families relocate on an annual basis. And for the fans of percentages, that amounts to roughly 9.8% of the total population in the United States.
That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? Well, yes, but not really the most this country has ever seen. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The percentage of people relocating has been steadily dropping for decades now. The highest it has been in recent times was in 2000. Back then, a noticeably higher 16% of the total population relocated that year.
The people who move
Looking into the demographics of those who move the most can reveal some pretty interesting stuff. Before we get to the people themselves, let’s first examine the kinds of services that are in demand.
By looking at the money going into particular services, we can understand how often people use them. And the market shares of these various moving services (residential, corporate, military, other) reveal that residential moves make up the bulk of the profit pie. But corporate relocations aren’t too far behind, taking up 5% less. For more clarity, here are the revenue stats themselves:
– Individual moves: $5,544,000,000 (44%)
– Commercial moves: $4,914,000,000 (39%)
– Military moves: $2,016,000,000 (16%)
– Other: $126,000,000 (1%)
The most active moving demographic is pretty broad, ranging between 18 and 34 years old. They also have an average of one or two children and are around 5% more likely to be non-white. Not only that, but they are more likely to be renters than apartment owners.
As it turns out, the likelihood of someone moving beyond this age range goes down drastically. That’s pretty self-evident at the low end, given that minors don’t really move on their own, but it seems that those aged 35 and up settle down pretty quickly.
Another interesting piece of information states that more wealthy people stay put than poor ones do. More precisely, 7% of those who earn upwards of $100,000 a year move, while 13% of those who earn $5,000 or less do.
One might think of this as a positive; an increase of mobility is economically beneficial, after all. Well, given that commonly cited causes for financially disadvantaged people relocating relate to finding cheaper housing and foreclosure or eviction, the truth seems a little less than stellar.
Where do people move?
Now that we have an idea of who tends to move, let’s take a look at where they’re all moving to. As one might expect, the majority of moves happen within the borders of any given state. And it’s a vast majority, too – the US Census Bureau reported that 85% of all moves happen intrastate. Of those, local moving comprises over 60 percent. That leaves a comparatively measly 14% of moves that take place between states and less than a single percent that move overseas.
What’s more, most people don’t end up moving all that far away: the average relocation distance is within a 50-mile radius. Only 24.7% – just shy of a quarter – of people will move to a distance in excess of 500 miles.
There seems to be a pattern in regards to where people move to and from. The most popular states to which people flock are predominately along the coastline, both East and West. When viewed together, they almost form a kind of horseshoe, enveloping the coast towns and some of the southernmost states.
The following are the 10 most popular cities relocation-wise:
- North Carolina
- New York
As you can see, cross country and long distance moving companies Florida employs see the most work with inbound traffic. Seeing that it’s relatively affordable to live there and that the weather is fairly warm throughout the year, it makes sense.
But looking at the places where people relocate from the most shows us something curious. The list of the 10 most “abandoned” states is almost the same beat-for-beat, with a somewhat altered order. Here it is:
- New York
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
The biggest differences are the inclusion of Illinois instead of Arizona and the fact that Florida ranks fourth. The most populous states in the U.S. are both the most moved from and moved to of all, which is a natural part of such large territories. That explains why interstate movers in California and other densely populated states see so much business.
When do people move?
According to the statistics, people most often move on Fridays and Saturdays (20% and 18%). That allows them to leave a day or two free for their move without taking to many days off. That also explains why Sunday is the least popular moving day, seeing that it precedes the entire traditional workweek.
Speaking of which, Monday enjoys the title of the second most frequent moving day of the entire workweek. This does run a little counter to the explanation we just gave. However, it does add up when you consider the fact that people come fresh out of an entire weekend’s worth of off time. Therefore, they feel more energized and better prepared to tackle the big move.
When it comes to the question of the season when people move, summer appears to be the preferred one. As many as 60% of all relocations take place somewhere between May and August. Winter and autumn can be a pain for moving due to the weather, so that serves as a big deterrent.
In case you’re interested, here’s a breakdown of moving frequency across the months:
- January: 3%
- February: 6%
- March: 9%
- April: 8%
- May: 10%
- June: 13%
- July: 12%
- August: 12%
- September: 9%
- October: 7%
- November: 6%
- December: 3%
Why people move
As we already mentioned, people choose or need to relocate for a wide variety of reasons. In this section, we would like to go into these reasons in more detail.
The number one motivation for people moving has to do with wanting to find a new or better home. A little over 16% of moves take place for this reason alone. Following closely-ish behind is the desire to form one’s own household, with 12% of all relocations happening to that end. In third place, we have a catch-all category of family reasons at 11%.
Job transfers/new job opportunities and searching for cheaper housing come in at numbers 4 and 5 respectively. The former makes up 9.9% of all moves, and the latter comprises 8.3% of the lot. The other notable reasons include switching to ownership over renting, improving the work commute, marriage, college, and finding a safer neighborhood.
Interestingly (and unfortunately at the same time), moving for professional purposes often turns out to be a bad idea in the eyes of those who have relocated. A survey that Porch conducted reveals that as many as 25% of people who move for their job wind up regretting that decision.
Preferred moving methods
No matter what your reason for moving is or what kind of move you’re about to undertake (residential, commercial, long-distance, etc.), you really have only three options. These are to hire a professional moving company to do the deed for you from A to Z, rent a moving truck to haul your belongings yourself, or simply do it all on your own.
If you are planning a relocation, our professional piece of advice for you would be to hire the pros whenever possible. This is because they have the tools and experience to make your move efficient and safe for your things. Of course, there are always budgetary restraints you have to take into account when making such a decision. However, leaving the work to the experts always ensures an overall better moving experience. This is doubly true for something like a move to another state. So if you’re relocating to Colorado, let’s say, you would be smart to find the best interstate movers Colorado can offer you.
Regardless, people in America seemingly don’t want to deal with the expenses of hiring a moving company. We can see that from the data provided by The American Moving and Storage Association. Their research concluded that about 47% of people moving will opt for doing it without any professional help. Meanwhile, 34% of them will rent a truck, and 19% will hire a comprehensive moving service.
The moving industry in economic terms
Seeing that we have taken an in-depth look at the people who move, why not go the extra mile and discuss the people that help us with our relocations? This bonus section will cover the moving industry in the United States in terms of market share and other business particulars.
The overall market size of the moving industry stands somewhere around $18 billion. While it’s far from the biggest industry in the U.S., it nevertheless employs a lot of people, that being a little above 122 thousand people working in approximately 7,000 companies. Moreover, the industry has been experiencing steady growth – some 3% percent a year – ever since the Great Economic Crisis of 2008.
In terms of how large or small the businesses in the relocation sector are, most of them lean toward the tiny side of the spectrum. As many as 47.8% of these companies operate with five or fewer employees. Conversely, a much smaller 8.5% of moving businesses hire a hundred or more people.
Of all services, most of the money goes into actual moves and providing storage solutions. The former makes up 69.6% of all revenue in this industry, while the latter comprises 20.2%. The rest of the revenue goes to packing and other costs, standing at about 7.5% and 2.7% respectively.
Speaking of storage, here’s a tidbit that we didn’t find a place for anywhere else. There are more storage spaces in the United States than there are McDonald’s locales. And Starbuck’s locations. Combined. That’s pretty difficult to imagine, seeing that both are around virtually every corner.
Hire the best moving companies for you
If you are in the midst of preparing for a move, make sure that you entrust the process to capable hands. After all, a poorly executed relocation can lead to disaster. This especially applies to long-distance moving. That is why the help of the right professional moving company is a godsend. Trustworthy movers will organize and execute your entire move with great speed and care.
Luckily, finding the best in the business is easier now than ever. With the help of Verified Movers, you can easily browse through a wide selection of countless tried and tested moving companies working in your area of interest. Not only that, but you can read about various useful tips and relevant info about every state in the country.
You’ve asked yourself: “How many times does the average person move?” and now it’s time for you to ask: “Who will help me make my move a spotless experience?”