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Dennis Joyce

Joyce joined The Tampa Tribune as senior editor for metro in 2005 and later helped launch TBO.com’s continuous news desk. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Arizona, Kentucky, Virginia, Idaho and Stuart, Fla. Email


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Scullin has worked for The Tampa Tribune since 2005, directing news coverage in Pasco County and serving as the paper’s Sunday editor. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Lakeland, Sarasota, North Carolina and California. Email


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Movin’ out: Migration up in 2009

Posted May 10, 2010 by Jeff Scullin

Updated May 10, 2010 at 12:17 PM




More Americans were on the move last year, but people aren’t going far, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The national mover rate went from 11.9 percent in 2008 – the lowest rate since 1948, when the Census Bureau started collecting data—to 12.5 percent in 2009. That represents 37.1 million people changing residences in 2009, up from 35.2 million in 2008.

And who are those movers? Statistically speaking, they are more likely to be poor, renters, unemployed, black and living out West. And they don’t stray far from home.

I’m not sure the findings, from the Census Bureau’s Geographical Mobility Report, are all that surprising, but here are a few of the highlights:

• Of those who moved last year, 67.3 percent stayed in the same county, 17.2 percent moved to a different part of the state, 12.6 percent moved out of state, and 2.9 were from another country.
• Geographically, the Northeast saw the lowest movement, with a mover rate of 8.1 percent, while the West had the highest mover rate, 14.8 percent. The South’s mover rate was 13.7 percent – and, yes, that includes South Tampa and Sarasota.
• Renters were five times as likely as homeowners to move.
• Unemployed people moved more often than people with jobs – 20.9 percent compared to 12.5 percent.
• Poor people moved more often than people with incomes above the poverty line: 23.6 percent of people with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty line moved within the last year, compared to 17.5 percent of people with incomes between 100 and 149 percent of the poverty line. Note: The poverty levels used by the census are different from those published in the Federal Register—the numbers the Department of Health and Human Services uses to determine eligibility for social service benefits.
• Blacks had the highest mover rate among the races (16.7 percent), compared to 15.8 percent for Hispanics, 13.8 percent for Asians and 10.7 percent for whites.


And why do those who move, move? Most pick up and go somewhere else because of housing issues: About 17 million – or 46 percent – of movers said they wanted to own a home or live in a better neighborhood. People also moved because of family concerns (26.3 percent) and for work (17.9 percent).

The Geographical Mobility report doesn’t break out by state, but it does break out in some interesting ways. Historical migration reports are available here.