When you think about the history of America, stories of migration are a big part of the narrative. During the the 1800s scores of people went West in search of work, adventure, and gold. The 1900s brought a different sort of mass relocation, as millions of black Americans moved from South to North in search of opportunity, and reprieve from intolerance. Even now, movement and migration seem baked in to the story of American progress, though on a smaller scale, as teenagers strike out for college in a different state or populations shift from rural to urban areas for job opportunities.
The most recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll took a look at where Americans live and how they feel about the areas they call home. It also asked respondents to ruminate on how likely they were to move from their current location and what types of factors they considered persuasive enough to pack up their homes and head to a new locale.
Of all respondents, about 54 percent said that they lived in close proximity to where they grew up. And about 35 percent of survey respondents who currently live near their childhood home said they have lived in a different location for a significant period of time, excluding time for college, military or something similar. Among this boomeranger group, geographic mobility was higher among Hispanics than other racial groups, and those who went to college were also more likely to have relocated prior to moving back home. In the college group, black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to live elsewhere away from their hometown than their white peers.
People who lived in rural areas were significantly less likely to have moved away from their hometowns. And people from the Deep South and mountain regions were most likely to have uprooted themselves at some point. When it comes to striking out, those in the mid-Atlantic region were most likely to say that might consider a move in the future.