Written by: Kate Becker

Moving is one of the most growing industries recently. So many people are moving across the country daily and starting over at the new place. While this trend is slowing down comparing to the previous decades, it seems like the moving companies aren’t lacking business. The question that is often asked about the relocation is who moves more often: owners or renters? Keep reading if this subject and similar information interest you too.

Why do people even move?

It doesn’t matter are you relocating locally or moving long-distance – it is never an easy task. There are so many things to do, usually so little time to achieve everything; it is a messy and very stressful process. Then there is the pesky organization and planning of each step, nerve-wracking packing, and other time-consuming choirs. It is so overwhelming, even with the help of professional movers.

So the question is -why do people do it? What drives them to pack their entire life and move it miles away? There’s no simple answer to this question. It all comes down to personal preferences and priorities. However, let’s take a look at the numbers. According to statistics, people mostly move because:

  • Better job
  • Family reasons
  • Better home
  • More affordable living condition
  • The retirement
  • To fulfill their desire to live in a specific area

Now when we know why people are willing to move for, we can keep exploring who moves more often: owners or renters.

Who moves more often: owners or renters?

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that renters are relocating more than homeowners. Renters don’t tend to stay put for long, mostly due to the lease expiration date, rent increase or unsatisfying living conditions. However, even though most renters usually stay short term in the units, their moving rate has steadily declined over the last thirty years. Take a look at the numbers:

  • The number of renters in 2017 set a historic low of 21.7 percent, comparing to 35.2 percent in 1988.
  • On the contrary, the mover rate for owners in 2017 was only 5.5%, which is a significant decrease from 1988 when the owner-mover rate almost twice as high at 9.5%.

As we can establish, renters are the majority of the moving population.

House - Who moves more often: owners or renters?

House owners are more reluctant to move than renters.

Why renters move more often?

While the answer to who moves more often: owners or renters aren’t surprising at all, there is the whole set of reasons why that’s the case.

Nicer housing

First and foremost is the search for better living conditions. The vast majority of the renter population consists the young professionals, college graduates, and foreign newcomers. Limited by the smaller budget, they except living in the smaller and cheaper apartments. As they start to produce more incomes and progress in their carriers, they are either moving to a bigger unit or becoming homeowners. Surely, there is a number of renters who prefer to stay in one place. They are mostly choosing locations over the commodity. However, their percentage is on the low side. Most people are looking to upgrade their living conditions, so that’s the number one why renters are moving more often.

Job relocation

Renters are more willing to move to some of the best cities for job seekers in the U.S., than the homeowners. When better job positions or higher-paying employment offer come to their laps, they are more eager to move for the job. Since they don’t have the real estate on their name, nothing is physically bonding them to a certain city. Of course, that doesn’t mean that homeowners aren’t relocation in order to boost their carriers. It just shows that renters are more numerous groups according to moving statistics when it comes to this type of relocation.

Living expenses

Affordability is one of the main drivers of renter mobility nationwide. Due to development, once unattractive neighborhoods are transforming into trendy areas. The more residents one part of the city is attracting, the more expensive housing becomes. Following the increase in prices in the service sector, restaurant and entertainment options. In America, there are many states people are moving out of primarily due to high monthly living expenses.

Toy car on top of the coins

The main reason for relocation is high monthly living costs.


Another reason why all people move, not just renters, is safety. With the massive growth of the population in one city, its crime rate is also increasing.
Everybody wants to feel safe when walking down the street. It is quite understandable why the rise in the crime rate will make people move from one city to a more secure one.

Now that we have determined who moves more often: owners or renters, let’s see where they are going

While people have different reasons for relocation, the premises are the same – hope they will have a better quality of life in the new place.
However, the ranking of the states that people are moving to can come as a surprise.

Starting with Idaho as number one. This state is the most preferable location for 65% nationwide movers. Newcomers are flocking here because of affordable living costs, vast job opportunities, high safety, and beautiful scenery. On the contrary, moving from Idaho to California is the most common for the residents of The Gem State.

See what other areas are on the list of top 10 states Americans are moving to, based on the percentage of outbound vs. inbound moves:

  1. Idaho
  2. Nevada
  3. Arizona
  4. Oregon
  5. Montana
  6. South Dacota
  7. North Carolina
  8. Vermont
  9. Florida
  10. Colorado

Idaho is the number one state people are moving to.

Hiring movers or DIY relocation – which is more common?


Since we have learned who move more often: renters or owners, what are the most common reasons for their relocation and where are they moving to, it is important to tackle another interesting question – how do people move?

When it comes to moving your home, there are just a few options. Hiring a professional moving company, renting a moving truck, or doing the whole thing yourself. According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) data on the base of 3 million interstate moves in 2017, people prefer DIY types of relocation. In numbers:

  • 550,000 people hired professional movers for their relocation
  • Consumers with the rented truck – 1 million people
  • 4 million choose to move completely on their own