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Number of people who moved drops

Associated Press / April 23, 2009
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WASHINGTON - The number of Americans who moved declined sharply last year, reaching the lowest percentage in 60 years as people grappled with fewer jobs and tighter credit.

Roughly 11.9 percent of the nation's population, or 35.2 million people, moved to a new home, down from 13.2 percent, or 38.7 million people, the previous year, according to census data released yesterday. It was the sharpest percentage drop in US mobility since the 2000 bursting of the tech bubble, which bankrupted many Internet start-ups and caused the dwindling of stock portfolios.

The number of people moving has been declining for decades - more recently because of an aging baby boomer population that is less mobile - since hitting a peak of 21.2 percent in 1951. But the rate had generally leveled off at around 13 percent to 14 percent before last year's drop.

Longer-distance moves between states have dropped 36 percent since 2005 to about 4.7 million.

The Northeast continued to lose the most residents, but at a slower rate than previous years.