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Why Do People Move Long-Distance?

What's in this article?
  1. Job Opportunities Drive Many Long-Distance Moves
  2. Family Ties Influence Long-Distance Relocations Too
  3. Seeking Lifestyle Changes Prompts Faraway Moves Too
  4. Retirement Relocations Rise
  5. Relationships Can Lead To Long-Distance Moves Too
  6. Health Reasons Lead To Relocations As Well
  7. Starting Over Calls Some To Start Fresh Far Away
  8. Long-Distance Moves Mark Major Life Transitions
Why Do People Move Long-Distance?

Moving to a new home in a different city or state is no simple undertaking. There's the hassle of packing everything you own, finding new housing, changing your mailing address, and saying goodbye to your community. Yet every year, millions of Americans undertake long-distance moves away from their current homes.

In 2019 alone, over 10% of U.S. residents moved, with 1 in 5 reporting they crossed state lines, according to Census Bureau data. Over 15 million people are picking up their lives to start anew in places hundreds or thousands of miles away.

What's behind this trend of long-distance moves? Several compelling reasons motivate people to move far from familiar surroundings:


Job Opportunities Drive Many Long-Distance Moves

One of the top reasons people move far away is for career or job opportunities. With today's globalized economy, many industries compel workers to move to new cities or regions to advance their careers. Companies increasingly expect employees to be willing to relocate for better positions or promotions.

For example, consulting firms and technology companies often require staff to move between major hub cities as needed for projects. Investment banks and financial firms may transfer junior analysts to gain experience in different markets. Big law firms rotate young associates to branches in other states.

Tech startups expanding operations also drive relocations. As companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon establish new regional headquarters, they bring hundreds of workers through transfers.

Even outside large corporations, specialized or high-paying positions in fields like medicine, academia, law enforcement, engineering, and more tend to be concentrated in a handful of major metro areas. Ambitious workers must move to one of these job centers to reach the pinnacle of their profession.

In 2019, a LinkedIn survey found that 57% of tech workers would consider relocating to a different city for a job opportunity. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that around 1 in 8 workers move for a new or better job.

The ebb and flow of hot job markets also motivates moves. When cities like Austin, Denver, and Charlotte emerge as hubs for growing industries, they attract new residents seeking abundant career opportunities.

Family Ties Influence Long-Distance Relocations Too

While jobs significantly affect long-distance moves, family reasons drive many far-flung relocations.

Many move closer to family members, especially when starting their own family. Parents often try to live near their parents, relatives, or in-laws to have help raising children. This allows kids to grow up near grandparents and other extended families.

Additionally, military families frequently have to relocate for deployments and base transfers. The military moves about 400,000 families annually within the U.S.

Meanwhile, other people move away from their families to gain more independence. Young adults moving cross-country to launch their careers and lives represents a rite of passage. Still, family ties impact these decisions too, as young people often choose cities where they already have relatives or friends nearby.

Seeking Lifestyle Changes Prompts Faraway Moves Too

Many long-distance relocations come from a desire for lifestyle changes. Retirees, in particular, migrate to warmer climates, pursuing beach living in California and the Southwest or golf communities in Florida and Arizona.

Younger adults also frequently move between urban and rural areas, seeking a different pace of living. Escaping the grind of long commutes and congested, expensive cities holds appeal. Many people relocate from metropolitan areas to more outdoorsy towns with skiing, hiking, boating, or other activities.

Others move to enjoy arts, culture, and dining scenes in thriving centers like Austin, Portland, and Asheville. Urban living with more amenities, entertainment, diversity, and opportunities entices suburban or rural dwellers.

Simpler living also calls some long-distance movers. Lower living and housing costs in the Midwest and South attract those weary of East/West Coast struggles to get by. Lower taxes in Texas and Florida similarly motivate moves from high-tax states like California, New York, and Illinois.

Looking for a fresh start or escape also spurs relocations. Moving to a new community can provide geographical, social, and cultural distance after complex problems or stressful periods in life.


Retirement Relocations Rise

As Baby Boomers reach retirement age, relocations to retiree-friendly regions are ballooning. Warm southern states like Florida, the Carolinas, Arizona, and New Mexico are top destinations, as are scenic spots like Colorado and the Pacific Northwest.

Florida alone sees over 200,000 retirees relocate within the state each year, per a 2019 study. The top reasons cited include the lack of income tax, warm weather, and recreational facilities.

Relocating to retirement communities offering assisted living services also prompts long-distance relocations. Separate complexes cater to interests ranging from RV living to cruising to gardening. These allow retirees to socialize and enjoy shared hobbies.

Meanwhile, other retirees move closer to their grown children and families. Many retirees say living near family is their top priority. These family support systems prove necessary as retirees age.

Relationships Can Lead to Long-Distance Moves Too

Romantic relationships commonly drive couples to close the gap through long-distance moves. People meet partners online from different states or countries at increasing rates in the digital age.

Moving together and getting married often prompts one partner to relocate to the other's home city. Even without marriage, relationships motivate moves for love. Young adults commonly move for significant others met at schools or jobs hundreds of miles apart.

Partners also move to be near their spouse or partner's essential connections. Trailing spouses frequently have to quit jobs and push for the other's career. People relocate to live closer to their partner's family, hometown friends, or alma mater community.

Health Reasons Lead to Relocations as Well

Seeking better medical care or accommodating health issues also cause long-distance relocations. Many patients move to access specialized care and treatment options at facilities around the country, like the Mayo Clinic.

Those suffering from illnesses or facing disabilities may move to drier climates or single-story homes that better suit their needs. Conditions requiring full-time assistance prompt relocations to live with family or near care homes.

Additionally, some people move purely to reduce living costs if dealing with burdensome medical bills. Lower living costs allow more room in strained budgets for expenses like prescriptions, home health aides, and adaptive technologies.

Starting Over Calls Some to Start Fresh Far Away

Finally, a longing for adventure, challenges, or new scenery compels many to embark on a long-distance move. You are starting over in a city where you know almost no one represents an exciting, albeit daunting, life transition.

Moving out of one's comfort zone pushes personal growth. Young college grads often intentionally move far away for this reason as they transition into adult independence. Even later in life, the stability of a long-established community grows stale for some.

So they answer the call of the open road. A change of pace and perspective from something completely new offers revitalization. Each sunrise in a new place almost permits one to reinvent oneself.


Long-Distance Moves Mark Major Life Transitions

As you can see, the motivations behind packing up and moving hundreds or thousands of miles away are enormously diverse. Yet these relocations signify more than just geographic changes.

They represent major pivotal life transitions and fresh starts. Long-distance moves mark new chapters, new challenges, and new opportunities. That's why these relocating individuals are willing to undertake the stresses and difficulties of uprooting their lives.

The costs and hassles of moving are merely growing pains necessary to pursue career potential, be near loved ones, enjoy life more, or discover something new about themselves.

While long-distance moves may seem daunting, the rewards outweigh the risks and costs for many people. These moves allow people to control their lives and pursue their dreams. Each mile traveled toward a new home represents a step toward reshaping their future.

So next time you hear about someone moving cross-country or across the state, understand their decision likely has a deeper motivation and meaning. Their long-distance relocation symbolizes a quest for something better, whatever shape that may take.

If you are planning a long-distance move, you should seek the services of professional long-distance movers. At A1 Auto Transport, we have decades of experience moving goods safely across long distances. We offer everything from enclosed transport to keeping your goods safe, and we can even help you move to over 190 countries worldwide.

Learn more about our long-distance movers and get a free quote today.

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Tony Taylor's journey in the auto transport industry began with a simple but powerful belief: he could do it better. Purchasing his first tow truck, he laid the cornerstone for what would become A-1 Auto Transport. With over two decades of hands-on experience, Tony has grown to be an industry veteran, an invaluable resource to whom other companies in this field often turn for advice.

Through hard work and dedication from Tony and his team, A-1 Auto Transport is now one of the largest United States based global auto transport companies. With offices and storage facilities scattered across major U.S. cities and throughout many countries abroad, Tony ensures that a dedicated staff of experienced professionals stands ready to provide unbeatable service at highly competitive prices.

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