Although the majority of Americans have moved to a new community at least once in their lives, nearly 4 in 10 have never left the place they were born, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. People who move usually do so to pursue economic opportunity, while people who have never moved say it’s mainly due to family and other connections.
The survey indicates that the biggest difference between people who move and those who stay put is linked to geographic and educational factors. Almost half of the adults living in the Midwest say they have lived there their entire lives (though I imagine if the survey was conducted in New Albany the number would be much lower), while fewer than one-third of those living in Western states say the same. Three-quarters of college graduates have moved at least once, but this is true for just over half of Americans who have no college diploma. Other findings from the survey:
• 38% of Americans say the place they consider home isn’t where they are currently living.
• People define “home” differently: 26% say it’s where they’re born or raised; 22% say it’s where they live now; 18% say it’s where they have lived the longest; 15% say it’s where their family comes from; and 4% say it’s where they went to high school.
• 57% of respondents have never lived outside their current state; 37% have never left their hometown and the other 20% had moved from their hometown but never left their current state.
Reproduced from CRS magazine, April 2009