A broad view of US movers

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There is a lot of misinformation that people have about the demographics of America. There are professionals that state that their customers move at an annual rate of less than 5%, because that's the percentage of their names that qualify for the US Postal Service's National Change of Address. The following is a compilation of the core demographic numbers.

First is the basic makeup of the people of our society. The total population for the years 2006-2007 was about 301.6 million. There were approximately 127.9 million housing units. Nearly 7% of the population was under the age of 5; 24.5% is under the age of 18. An additional 12.6% was over the age of 65.  Two-thirds of the US population was White, 14% was Hispanic and 12.8% was Black. Eleven percent of the US population was born overseas and 17.9% spoke a language other than English at home.

Slightly more than 80% of US citizens over the age of 15 have high school diploma; 24.4% of the 25-plus population has a bachelor's degree or higher. More than 16% of people over 5 have a disability. Two-thirds of the United States are homeowners; 26.4% own multi-unit residences.
Between 2006-2007, 38.7 million people moved. Of those, 25.2 million stayed in the same county; 7.4 million moved to a different county within the same state; 4.9 million moved to a different state; and 1.2 million moved into the US from abroad.

Of the people who moved within a county, almost half of them moved less than 50 miles from their previous address. Almost a quarter of the moves were more than 500 miles. The Northeast continues to have the lowest rate of moves at 9%, followed by the Midwest at 13%. The South experienced a 14% move rate and the West 15%. Note the significant difference between the Northeast and the West.

Why do people move? 42% of people moved so that they could own a home, or live in a better neighborhood; 30% moved for family issues; 21% moved because of employment. The remaining 7% moved for a wide variety of reasons. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest move rate at 17%, followed by Hispanics (16%), Asians (15%) and non-Hispanic whites (12%).

Major cities are losing almost 2 million people a year; with most of them moving to the suburbs. Almost all of the 1.2 million people moving to the US from abroad settle in the major metropolitan areas – 52% into the major cities and 42% into the suburbs. Relatively few people are moving into rural areas.

The younger people are, the more likely they are to move. 27% of people ages 20-24 moved, as did 26% of those ages 25-29. People who are separated (or have an absent spouse), are twice as likely to move as people who are married and live with their spouse. 20% of renters moved, compared to 7% of people who lived in owner-occupied homes.

By examining these statistics you can readily identify potential markets. There are 54 million people who speak a foreign language at home. That's a market of close to 20 million households. There is a plethora of products that appeal to these people, from foreign language publications to English language courses. Close to 50 million people have some kind of disability. There is a huge market of people over age 65, nearly 38 million people.

David Avrick is the president of Avrick Direct Inc. Reach him at david@avrick.com.

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