How many times does the average family move?

It’s widely known that Americans move more than any other nation. This is because of several different reasons. We will try to figure out how many times does the average family move and why they’re doing so. Let’s also see the pros and cons of moving more often and tips for how to do it successfully. You will also learn how to prepare your family for relocation and how to prepare your kids for the stressful change that can affect them deeply.

Do we know how many times does the average family move?

Based on a few surveys and research done by organizations such as American Community Survey (ACS), and NCHS – Life Tables, The U.S. Census Bureau can make some calculations. For example, they can roughly answer how many times does the average family move. Master Moving Guide goes into some more detail about this whole phenomenon of moving and how it can be done successfully.

Family moving into their new house
Families of all sizes and ages move around the USA all the time, let’s see how many times does the average family move.

What does the research say?

Based on research from above mentioned sources, we know that an average person moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. Now, this can apply to one person alone and the family altogether because a large number of moves are made in both the single and family category.  Research also shows that an American can expect to make a move every 5 years. For most people around the world, this is kind of insane. It’s not very easy to move around. Physically and emotionally. Especially if you are planning a long distance move. But it also has its perks and we will talk about them later.

Also, there are different numbers of moves at different times of the year. For example, way more moves happen in June and August than in January or December. This makes sense as professional moving guidelines always guide you to move when the weather is nicer.  However, this can also be tricky and you have to be smart. Having most moves happening during the summer means that a lot of movers will be overbooked. Some might also raise prices for the high season. So, what can you do? You can still plan your move for when the weather is nice but outside of the peak. Take some time and carefully pick your moving date.

Why do Americans move so much?

Even though moving has become part of everyday life for people all over the globe, Americans still do it more than anyone else. Even though relocating long distances can come with some difficulties, it’s still done very frequently in this country. Reasons for moving vary. Some people move because of family, some chase love and some simply need a change. However, without any surprise, most Americans move because of work. Compared to their European peers, Americans move considerably more.Exceptions of countries where people move often in Europe are Norway and Finland.

When we say that most Americans move because of work, what does it mean? Some move to start a new job or push their career forward. Others are already doing well at their job and are promoted or transferred to a different location that requires moving. Some move closer to their workplace for more convenience and easier commutes. If you are one of those people and you’re moving your car, make sure you are well informed before doing it.

People working and discussing how many times does the average family move
Most Americans move because of work. Either for new jobs or a more convenient commute to their job.

Why is it “easier” for American families to move within the US?

Even though it is not a simple process, either physically or mentally, to move to a whole new place, here is the thing. The fact that American families move more than families on any other continent has a reason. Maybe this is not the first thing that comes into people’s minds, but it is way more convenient for Americans to move based on language. In Europe, or any other continent, almost every country has its language, This can make it inconvenient for whole families to move and start fresh in a new country. In the USA, everybody speaks the same language and has very similar values. Taking this into account, it makes a lot of sense why migration within the US is so easy and often. 

However, an interesting fact is that Americans move less often now than they did in the past. Why is that? One of the reasons is that the American population is aging and older people tend to move less. Another reason is that, in the “modern times” that we are in, most households have two working parents. When this is the case, it’s a bit harder to establish the move and make compromises, because they most likely need to be made. One person might have to quit their job or downgrade. Maybe they’ll have to be a stay at home parents for some time. All of this makes moves less often than before when women (specifically) were mostly housewives.

Some more answers to how many times does the average family relocates

Other than the most common reason, which is work, let’s talk about some other factors that make American families relocate. 

  • Upgrading the family. By upgrading we mean new members being welcomed into the family. This usually makes the house too small for the initial family and they decide to move elsewhere where they can find a new, bigger, and better home.
  • Family downgrade. Downgrading the family can mean kids are off to college. Maybe they moved to start their own thing or they got married. This can also be due to grandparents or other older family members passing. In this case, there is no need to stay in a big house and maintain all the unused space. Families usually chose to move somewhere quiet and enjoy their time.
  • Looking for a better option. The grass always seems greener somewhere else. Many families decide to move because they find the place where they live boring or not promising. They might want to try their luck in (what seems to be) a better place.
newborn baby
Having a new family member is one of the reasons for a family relocation

Additional factors for moving families

  • Neighborhoods changing. Many American cities have changed over the past few decades. Some look nothing like they did before. There are examples of neighborhoods changing both for better and for worse. For most people, their initial surroundings are crucial, especially for families. Some decide to move because the neighborhood they once called their home is no longer the same and they see no point in staying there.
  • Retirement. This is the time when you have all the time for yourself. Most people who are retiring decide to go somewhere quiet and listen to nothing. They might take some family members if they feel like coming along, but retirees most often don’t mind being just with their retired partner or alone, in case they are no longer around.
  • Health related reasons. Some families decide to move closer to hospitals or facilities that can provide services to a family member in need. Some also like to be preventive and want to move close to the best health centers in case they end up needing care. If your family’s priority is health, you probably care about fitness too. In case you have a home gym that you’re moving to, make sure not to do it yourself. When it comes to heavy and delicate objects like that, fitness equipment movers will do a great job and safely move your private gym.
Parents eating with their two children
All reasons lead to the same conclusion. All families move in hopes of a better life.

How to move with your family?

If you’re already planning to relocate with your family, there are some things you should know before starting. Of course, once the initial part of packing and sorting is done, you’re going to need professional movers. Make sure you chose the option that fits your family best and discuss different moving quotes. Experienced movers are familiar with how many times does the average family move and they know exactly what it takes to move a family successfully and without stress. 

What’s on you to do is make sure you get the best moving insurance, especially if you’re moving far. You want to make sure that your belongings and important items make it safe and in one piece and if they don’t, it’s not on you to worry. While movers are taking care of your furniture and large belongings, you can use this time to prepare your family for relocation. We will talk more about that below.

How to prepare your family for the move?

In the case of parents moving with kids, you will need to prepare your family for the relocation. There are two parts to this preparation. Preparing their stuff and having kids help packing and preparing them emotionally. Now, you can usually make the packing part fun using some good packing tips and tricks, but the real talk about where and why you’re moving needs to happen, and that one is usually not too fun. However, don’t beat yourself up over this because there are always ways to make it lighter.

family talking about how many times does the average family move
Your need to prepare well for the move

You need to find a way to do it that’s appropriate for their age. You can’t use the same arguments to convince your six years old that this move is great as you do for your teenager. It would be a smart idea to have separate conversations with each kid if there are more in the family. This way you can customize them for each of them and make them happy individually before coming altogether. If they go to school, always try to tell them that the place where you’re moving will have much more opportunities and fun school time. However, if that is not the case, don’t tell them lies/ However, most of the time, that is the reality since most families chose to relocate to cities with better schools.

How can moving affect a family?

As we have mentioned a few times, moving is a big step. Even bigger when you’re moving as a family. Moves especially affect kids. At different ages kids experience it differently, but they all “go through it” mentally and emotionally. If your kid/kids haven’t started preschool or school yet, this might be the best time to move. This is because they haven’t yet found school best friends or a favorite teacher. The most important people for them at this stage are their parents and as long they are with them, there will not be much trouble.

If your kids are in school, try to make the new place seem more attractive so they will feel less sad about leaving their friends. They will eventually like the idea of moving if it seems “cooler” over there. The tricky part is having teenage kids. They are going through puberty and even without having to move they like causing trouble. They also go through a lot of emotions at this age and any small change can seem like the end of the world. Not all teenagers are like this, of course. Some will be happy to move if, for example, they don’t like their classmates or the town you live in. But otherwise, a very important conversation about this needs to happen.

a sad kid
Your kids may not accept the move too well

How moving affects the parents

Moving does not affect just the kids. It affects the parents too. Starting fresh in a new place later in life is not easy. The older you get, the more awkward it feels to have small talk and try to make new friends. You feel like you’re too old for that sometimes. It can also be anxious if one parent is staying at home while the other one is working. They might start to feel useless or not good enough. This is why every member of the family needs to get out there and meet people and find hobbies. 

We hope that after reading this you have an answer for how many times does the average family move. You probably also have a better idea about what to do when moving with your family and what other families’ reasons are for moving. If you are doing it soon, we wish you the best of luck and good times in your new home.

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