Saturday, December 20, 2008

Americans Settling Down?


One of the commonly cited reasons for societal instability, Americans' post-1960's wanderlust, seems to have cooled over the years. In fact, it may be that the eternally wandering American, with no roots and no extended family, may finally be looking for some stability.

According to a new study by the Pew Center,

Using polling data and government statistics, Pew found only 13 percent of Americans moved house between 2006-2007, the lowest rate since records began in the 1940s.

According to Thursday's report, roaming has been on the wane since the 1960s -- an era when millions followed beatnik author Jack Kerouac "On the Road."

Analysts say the slipping trend is due to an aging population. "The US population is getting older and most moves are made when people are young," Pew researchers noted.

While the annual rate of migration had stood since the 1960s at around 60 percent, that had fallen last year to its lowest level ever with the onslaught of the property crisis.

Some 38.6 million people moved between 2006-2007, the lowest number since 1982-1983, a period which also saw an economic downturn.

9 comments:

The Palmetto Bug said...

This is pertinent information for Freemasonry and the future of such.

The mobility of society has often been looked to as an explanation for the decline in membership in the Fraternity. It looks like the cycle may be coming back around.

Chris Hodapp said...

Explanation.
Or, possibly, excuse.
We're quickly running out of those, requiring that most dreaded possible course of action, self-examination.

Chris said...

I suspect it has less to do with diminishing wanderlust and more to do with the high prices of properties.

The next few years will be a rise in wanderlust as those who can trade up do because prices are coming down.

Chris Hansen

Chris Hodapp said...

Except that the 38 million cited came during 2006-2007, when the economic rave party was still reveling in raucous, E-Z mortgage, credit-card-swiping glee, and the numbers have been cooling steadily since the 1960s.

Chris Hodapp said...

Chris, are prices slumping in the UK? (I suspect the exchange rate will shoot up again, now that the Fed has announced they'll print as much US money as it takes to save the economy—packaged 350 sheets per roll, soft, and thoroughly absorbent).

Nathan Brindle said...

Chris, that sort of looks like your Camaro when you went back out to Cali in '79.

Chris said...

Indeed, house prices have gone down about 12% this year alone. I suspect there will be a 25% drop before prices level out, toward the end of next year.

Our Fearless Leader has not yet announced that the Bank of England will print lots more money this year to save our economy, but as he is a slavish follower of all things American, he probably will do so very soon.

Vulcan said...

"The mobility of society has often been looked to as an explanation for the decline in membership in the Fraternity."

The fraternity can't see the reasons for decline for the trees in forest.

Mobility would have nothing to do with Masonry's decline if maybe the Lodge the man was a member of had been important enough to him he would search for another Lodge when he moved. If quality, a real Brotherhood, and fraternity were not found in the city where he moved from how does anyone expect him to search for Masonry in a new city?

Can Masonry bail itself out? or will it have to have a bailout plan from an appendant body?

gnostalgia said...

Bro. Chris,
Merry Christmas, Have a great 2009!