In 2008, the national mover rate fell to its lowest level since the Census department began tracking that data in 1948. The rate fell to 11.9 percent of the population, from 13.2 percent in 2007, the Census department announced earlier this week.

About 35.2 million people changed residences in 2008, down from 38.7 million in 2007. It’s the smallest number of people to move since 1962.

Here are the mover rates by region:
* South 13.5 percent
* West 13.2 percent
* Midwest 11.1 percent
* Northeast 8.2 percent

Of those who did move:
* 65 percent stayed within the same county
* 18 percent moved to another county within same state
* 13 percent moved to a different state
* 3 percent moved to the U.S. from abroad

2 million people moved out of cities and 2.2 million people moved into the suburbs

The most common reasons for moving were housing related (such as the desire to own a home or live in a better neighborhood), representing 40.1 percent or 14.1 million movers. The distribution among those who gave other reasons for moving was: family related (30.5 percent), employment related (20.9 percent) and other (8.5 percent).

I moved last year. But it was from a more expensive apartment to a cheaper one so that I could better afford to repay my student loans. I wonder how many other Americans moved for this reason, as opposed to moving up.

I’m staying in my cheaper apartment – for at least another year. When you’re trying to cut costs, downsizing your housing may be one way to get some big gains. Of course, if you own your home, you’re probably in a different situation. It’s a lot easier to leave an apartment than try to sell a home. If you own a home, and have room, it may be worth it to get a roommate.

April 24, 2009