Moving Motivations: What Would Make Americans Consider Uprooting to Another State?

That depends on who you're asking

Jan 06, 2016, 05:05 ET from The Harris Poll

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent Harris Poll found Florida, California and Hawaii to be the states where Americans would most like to live (excluding where they live now), followed by Colorado and New York. But what might inspire Americans to actually consider such a move? While there are clear frontrunners, a lot of it depends on region, age, gender and more.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,232 U.S. adults surveyed online between November 11 and 16, 2015. Full results of this study, including data tables, can be found here.

  • Just over half of Americans (52%) say they'd consider moving to another state to live in an area with a better climate or better weather.
  • Four in ten (41%) would consider moving for a job opportunity.
  • Over a third (36%) would factor in proximity to family.
  • One in four (25%) would consider a move for health reasons.
  • Between one in ten and two in ten would consider a move due to each of the following:
    • Proximity to friends (18%).
    • Proximity to significant other (16%).
    • Educational opportunity (14%).
    • To live in an area where their lifestyle is more accepted (13%) or where their political views are more accepted (11%).
    • To live in an area where recreational marijuana is legal (11%).
  • Seven percent (7%) would consider moving in order to live someplace where their religious views are more accepted.
  • Meanwhile, 15% would not consider moving to another state for any reason.

Whether the weather...
As stated earlier, this list changes greatly depending on a range of factors. Climate consideration, for example, seems to be much more important among those in regions prone to less welcoming weather:

  • Over six in ten Easterners (64%) and Midwesterners (61%) say they'd consider moving to another state in order to live in an area with a better climate or better weather.
  • This drops just below the halfway point among Southerners (48%) and down to 39% among those in the West.

Generations and genders, geographically
Looking across the generations, Matures are less likely than their younger counterparts to consider relocating their way into a better climate (54% Millennials, 51% Gen Xers, 55% Baby Boomers, 39% Matures). Similarly, Millennials are more likely than any of their elders to say they'd consider moving to live in an area where their lifestyle is more accepted (24%, 10%, 7% and 6%).

Likelihood to consider moving gets progressively lower as those answering the question get older for:

  • Job opportunity (68% Millennials, 52% Gen Xers, 20% Baby Boomers and 2% Matures).
  • Proximity to significant other (24%, 19%, 10% and 4%).
  • To live in an area where recreational marijuana is legal (20%, 10%, 7% and 1%).

But it may not entirely be the individual factors which are appealing less to older Americans: their roots have likely grown deeper as well, as evidenced by their higher likelihood to say they wouldn't consider moving to another state for any reason (7%, 11%, 19% and 35%).

Comparing genders, women are more likely than men to say they'd factor in proximity to family (40% vs. 31%); men, meanwhile, are more likely to say they'd move to live in an area where recreational marijuana is legal (14% vs. 8%) or where their political views are more accepted (13% vs. 9%).

Looking for like minds
While moving in order to live in areas more accepting of their lifestyle, or political or religious views, are not high on the list overall, these motivations clearly resonate more with some Americans than with others. Most notably, LGBT Americans are three times as likely as their non-LGBT counterparts (34% vs. 11%) to say they'd move in order to live in an area where their lifestyle is more accepted.

Where a person stands on the political spectrum also coincides with attitudinal shifts:

  • Liberals (20%) are more likely than Conservatives (13%) – who in turn are more likely than Moderates (5%) to say they'd consider moving to live someplace where their political views are more accepted.
  • Conservatives (12%) are more likely than either Moderates (4%) or Liberals (7%) to consider moving to an area where their religious views are more accepted.
  • Liberals (17%) and Moderates (12%), on the other hand, are more likely than Conservatives (6%) to say they'd consider moving to an area where recreational marijuana is legal.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit us at TheHarrisPoll.com.

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Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between November 11 and 16, 2015 among 2,232 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #1, January 6, 2016
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll

About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, please visit our new website, TheHarrisPoll.com.

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SOURCE The Harris Poll



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