The Top 5 Reasons People Move

Why do people move so much, anyway? When you look at recent statistics, this question just brims with complexity.Back in 2019, over 30 million people packed their bags and moved to greener pastures in the United States. Believe it or not, that number is actually a lower trend than a few decades ago! With the pandemic limiting people’s moving options and home prices higher than they’ve ever been, it’s time to paint a bigger picture.Why do people move despite the obstacles and what does it mean for your next journey? Let’s take a look below.

But first, check out these helpful articles.

  • Best Interstate Movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, it’s worth hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews.
  • How much will your move cost? – Our moving cost calculator is a great resource. Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your move, and the magic algorithms will do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks. These are the best moving container companies.

A Brief Overview of Moving in the United States

The United States is a massive country. With a population of nearly 330 million and a plethora of different cultures, it’s plain as day why there’s so much wanderlust.

Between 10% to 25% of Americans move every single year, though this number will fluctuate depending on the economy and personal reasons. Compare this percentage to other areas in the world: the European Union averages just 10% for its residents, while South America rarely hits beyond 5% to 15%.

While the pandemic has made moving difficult, it hasn’t stopped people from seeking out better opportunities in new places.

Reason #1: People Move For Job Opportunities

Getting a new job often upheaves your lifestyle. One of the most well-known reasons people move to a new town, city, or state is for a new position or promotion.

A recent survey by Indeed found around 45% of respondents stating they moved for career purposes. Millennials and Gen X were most likely to move for a job, while Baby Boomers were most likely to move for personal reasons.

Reasons to move for career include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Improved benefits
  • Better pay
  • Promotion
  • Career change
  • Skill acquisition

This reason may become more uncommon due to the rise in remote work. With the ability to work from anywhere in the country, remote workers are enjoying expanded options. Certain cities are especially attractive to remote workers for having lower rent and improved amenities not usually found in metropolitan locations.

Reason #2: People Move for Educational Purposes

This reason piggybacks off of the first entry on this list, due in no small part to how closely career and education are intertwined. There are still some changes that need to be addressed.

The year 2019 saw nearly 20 million people apply for college in the United States. However, moving for educational purposes has seen a hitch in the system thanks to the pandemic. Schools around the country are in a constant flux of shutting down and opening. Housing is also more expensive than it’s ever been.

The old ideal of transitioning to college out of high school and landing a comfortable career upon graduation has fallen out of favor. Recent studies have shown at least 30% of Millennials today are delaying frequently move back into their parents’ home after college. A major reason for this is the struggling job market and the lack of affordable housing.

Reason #3: People Move to Be With Family or Start a Family

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to location. Some neighborhoods are great to live in when you’re single, but clash once you bring a child into the mix.

One of the most common reasons people move to a new location is due to family. Some may move to a bigger house so they can take care of their parents: aging-in-place is a popular phenomenon with no signs of slowing down. It’s common to renovate a house and attach what’s known as a ‘granny flat’ to ease this transition.

Other movers head to a new neighborhood with lower crime rates and a more walkable design so they can feel secure raising their children. When something as simple as the location of a school can change your life for the better, it’s a small wonder why people pack their bags.

Reason #4: People Move For Emergency Purposes

Sometimes you don’t get the option to meticulously budget and plan your move. Emergency moves – also known as same day moves – are any move conducted at the last second to avoid a bad situation.

Not all movers will conduct an emergency move, thanks to the instability that comes with less planning. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options if you have to leave at the last-second. Some situations that require an emergency move include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Sudden eviction
  • An abusive relationship
  • Natural disaster
  • Illness or death in the family
  • Job loss

Same-day moves can be conducted with a moving service or by using resources like moving containers. Resources like the Moving Cost Calculator are useful for tallying up moving costs in a short amount of time.

Reason #5: People Move For Personal Enrichment

Our last reason is no less profound than the ones that came before it: leaving home for personal enrichment is a major driver behind today’s moves.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a more vibrant, heavily populated environment? Perhaps you’re on the other end of the extreme and are craving a more peaceful, quiet location out in the country. While most moves in the United States are local, personally enriching moves tend to look like moving out of the state or the country.

Around 40% of Americans that move outside the country tend to stick to the Western Hemisphere, favoring Canada and Central America. Common details that contribute to leading a more enriching life in another country include:

  • Lower living costs
  • Reduced crime rate
  • Beautiful architecture, food, and art
  • Learning a new language
  • More suitable climate


Why do people move? The reasons behind this ongoing human migration are as varied as we are.

People most commonly move for reasons related to education, job opportunities, and family. Less common reasons include emergency moves and personal enrichment. No one’s journey looks identical to yours.

You may find yourself moving for several of the above reasons…or none of them!

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