When you think about the history of the United States, stories of migration are a big part of the narrative. During the the 1800s, scores of people headed West in search of work, adventure, and gold. The 1900s brought a different sort of mass relocation, as millions of black Americans moved from the South to the 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 locations and what types of factors they considered persuasive enough to pack up their homes and head to new locales.
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 homes said they have lived in a different location for a significant period of time, excluding time for college, military, or something similar. Among this boomeranging 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 away from their hometowns than their white peers.