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Why Americans Move – or Don’t

Although the majority of Americans have moved to a new community at least once in their lives, nearly four in 10 have never left the place they were born, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.People who move usually do so to pursue economic opportunity, while people who have never moved say it’s mainly due to family and other connections.

The survey indicates that the biggest difference in movers and stayers is linked to geographic and educational factors. Almost half of the adults living in the Midwest say they have lived there their entire lives, while less than one-third of those living in Western states say the same. And three-quarters of college graduates have moved at least once, compared with just over half of Americans who have no college diploma.

Other findings from the survey:
• 38 percent of Americans say the place they consider home isn’t where they’re currently living.
• “Home” is defined differently by different people: 26 percent say it’s where they were born or raised; 22 percent say it’s where they live now; 18 percent say it’s where they have lived the longest; 15 percent say it’s where their family comes from; and 4 percent say it’s where they went to high school.
• 57 percent of respondents have never lived outside their current state; 37 percent have never left their hometown; and 20 percent have left their hometown but never lived in a different state.

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