- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

People are moving in the United States in record-low numbers, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday.

The agency reported 11.9 percent of residents moved in 2008 — 1.3 percent less than the year before and the lowest rate since the bureau began tracking such information in 1948.

The 35.2 million residents who moved last year were the fewest since 1962 and 3.5 million fewer than in 2007.

The agency did not provide an explanation, but the extra expenses associated with relocating — including moving vans, security deposits or down payments — are difficult for households to cover during a recession.

Residents in the South and West moved the most, 13.5 percent and 13.2 percent respectively. The Northeast lost the most residents.

Big cities lost 2 million residents while suburbs gained 2.2 million.

The poorest of U.S. residents moved the most and the wealthiest moved the least, according to the report. Nearly 23 percent of those below 100 percent of the poverty level moved in 2008, compared to 9.7 percent for residents at or above 150 percent of the poverty level.

Among races, blacks moved the most, at 16 percent, followed by Hispanics, at 15 percent; Asians, at 13 percent; and whites, at 10 percent.

The most common reasons for moving were housing-related, including the desire to own a home or live in a better neighborhood, followed by family and job. Information for the 2008 Current Population Surveys Annual Social and Economic Supplement was collected in February, March and April from roughly 100,000 addresses nationwide.

• Joseph Weber can be reached at jweber@washingtontimes.com.old.

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