Bunkers of the Recession

BY MARY DAVIS
May 13, 2009

To the litany of statistics bearing out the severity of this recession, add one more: the number of Americans who moved between March 2008 and March 2009 was just 35.2 million, the lowest total in 47 years – and back in 1962, there were 120 million fewer Americans. Such relative stability might be viewed as a good thing for neighborhoods besieged by foreclosures, or cities suffering from long-term economic decline (not to mention the effect on the environment). But, economists point out, reduced mobility is, rather, a sign that people are unable to move in pursuit of jobs. And it’s not just emigration: the 1.1 million immigrants who arrived from overseas between March of last year and this, meanwhile, constituted the lowest number since 1995. The little movement there was, however, was outward: Suburbs gained 2.2 million movers while major cities lost 2 million.