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More Americans Are Moving for Short Commutes

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 11:34 AM

Commute times are a growing factor in people’s moves, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. More than five percent of Americans who moved between 2012 and 2013 were seeking an easier commute or a home closer to their job. That means distance to work is a bigger factor than it was in 1999, when just over three percent of people said that motivated their move.

It’s far from the biggest motivator for a move, though. Housing-related reasons topped the list — things like moving to a better or less expensive home. Commute times were the second-biggest factor for job-related moves, the bureau found.

Separating reasons for a move can be tricky, cautions the report's author, David Ihrke, a demographer in the Census Bureau's Journey to Work and Migration Statistics Branch. "For instance, if one's primary reason for moving is to be closer to work or having an easier commute, they may have to sacrifice other preferences. This could include forgoing cheaper housing options or settling for a different neighborhood. If they mainly want cheaper housing, they may have to deal with a longer commute."

(To which residents of New York City say: duh.)

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Comments [2]

Kelly from Houston, TX

In addition to the reasons cited above, I've found that many people in Houston choose to move to be closer to better schools. In fact, it seems to be the main reason people my age range (late 20s-30s) give when they move to the suburbs.

Jun. 06 2014 11:34 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

As much as I would love to live close to where I work without having to make any major commutes, I can't afford to on my income, which is the problem for that.

Jun. 05 2014 04:28 PM

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