I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about our recent move across the country. Some of my friends have commented on our ‘courage’ to pick up the family and go. I’ve never seen it this way, but that may be because I have always moved.
Almost seven years ago my husband and I went from Florida to California. We were newlyweds and out for an adventure, and it was a great opportunity to see the west.
Yet that wasn’t my first big move. In fact, I have spent my life moving. Tonight I counted out that I have only lived in one area consecutively for five years, and that was when I was in grade/middle/early high school.
Other than that, I have never lived in a town for longer than five years in a row (I went back to the town from which I graduated high school after graduating from college-and then left a few years later).
I’ve only lived in one home longer than three years-and that’s in my entire lifetime.
To say I move is putting it mildly, I guess.
I was considering this today during my long run. I was wondering how many people move regularly or not at all. I realize that in this small town, most of the people that I meet were born and raised here and have never left, or, if they did so, left for college and then moved back. Some moved back when they had families; others before.
But it was the same way in Orange County, California, population a zillion. I met so many people that had lived in that area all of their lives, and would never leave. They knew each other, had gone to school with one another, had stories to tell of the good old days. It always surprised my husband that so many of our friends had known each other when they were sixteen.
According to Pew Research Center and Census data, only thirteen percent of Americans moved between 2006 and 2007. Pew did a study of over 2,000 people and found that four in ten people had not left the area in which they were born!
What makes people move? The things that you would think: no jobs to be found in their town, a college far away from home, a love interest or just a desire to get out and explore.
The Census Bureau shows that people are moving less than they once did because of the number of older people-its usually the young that migrate-and because of the rise of homes in which both people are working. Before, when the husband was the sole breadwinner in many families, it was easier to move the family because only one person had to find a new job.
And will they move again? The movers say yes and the stayers say, well, you guessed it.
Have you moved around a lot in your life, only once or twice, or not at all? If you have not moved, what has kept you where you are (most people cite family). If you have moved, why. and will you move again? If you are like most of the stayers, you are probably thinking you will move within the next five years. (Sigh, I have to admit we are in that category).