Millennials Driving Down America's Mobility Rate

According to new Census Bureau data, Americans are relocating at the lowest rate since the government started keeping record.

In post World War II America, roughly 20-percent of us would simply pack up and move if the local factory shut down. That's been cut in half, due in large part to millennials struggling with lower wages and cost of living.

“People in their 20s and early 30s are the most likely to be moving, so when that group tends to have lower migration than they did before, that brings the whole migration rate down for the country,” says Dr. William Frey, senior demographer at the Brookings Institute.

Frey says millennials are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession.

“There is more home buying by millennials than there was in the past, but it's still not up to maybe where it should be,” he says. “Jobs are a little bit more plentiful than they were back then, but there's something about this generation that when it comes to making a move, it's not quite as easy as it was for earlier generations.”

The trickle down effect has led to millennials putting off marriage and starting families. Frey believes the numbers should tick back up as Generation Z enters the workforce.

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