Millennials Aren’t Moving Anywhere, Despite Fewer Obstacles

Image courtesy of Great Beyond

For many younger consumers, each new year used to bring a new address, whether that meant switching from an apartment to a house, or following their dreams across the country. But the latest generation of millennials apparently aren’t on board with that.

According to a Pew Research Center report based on Census Bureau data, Americans are moving at the lowest rate on record, with millennials moving significantly less than earlier generations.

Just 20% of consumers age 25 to 35 say they lived at a different address one year earlier, the report found.

Pew notes that this is a marked difference from earlier generations at the same age. For example, 27% of consumers aged 25 to 35 years in 1990 reported moving within the last year. Additionally, in 2000 and 1963, 26% of consumers who were in same age range at the time had moved in the past year.

Millennials’ apparent reluctance to move is a bit counterintuitive, Pew reports, as they are less likely than any other generation to have something — or someone — standing in the way of their mobility.

Pew found that only 42% of millennials are married and living with their spouse in 2016. Conversely, in 1963, 82% of consumers of the same age were married and living with their spouse.

Another factor that often prevents consumers from moving is homeownership. However, Pew notes that millennials are less likely to be tied down by owning a house, with just 37% of the generation owning a home. Yet, they are still less likely to move than baby boomers were at their age: 25% of early boomers moved in 1981, despite 56% owning homes.

Having a child can also be seen as a deterrent from moving. However, millennials are often waiting longer to have children. For example, just 56% of millennials were childless in 2016, while less than half of Gen Xers and Boomers were childless at a similar stage of life.

Pew reports that despite having fewer impediments to moving, millennials face other challenges that may be preventing them from moving.

While owning a home was a large motivator for previous generations to move, Pew found that for millennials, that often isn’t an option, thanks to tighter lending restrictions and mountains of college debt.