Why do people relocate – most common reasons

As you may already know, the average person relocated around eleven times during their lifetime. But why do people relocate so much, what makes them want to change their homes that frequently? Most of the top rated moving companies do considerable research on this topic, and by talking to them we have gathered some of the most common relocation reasons. In a nutshell, most people relocate due to job-related or family/housing-related reasons, as well as for college attendance or the desire to change their neighborhood. In this article, we will explore all of those reasons and what makes them so influential.

Why do people relocate – Common reasons

Basically, there are three categories that “make” most people consider a relocation. They are:

  • Job-related
  • Family/housing related
  • Other reasons
person enjoying nature
Many people also relocate to experience new environments.

But those are just the most common reasons. The fact of the matter is that there are as many unique reasons for relocation as there are people. And there is a good number of different reasons within each category, as well.

Job-related relocation reasons

When it comes to job-related relocations, they usually happen due to the following circumstances:

  • Landing a new job/losing a job
  • The job requires relocation
  • Wanting to be closer to the workplace

Job-related relocations are the most common relocation category of them all. This is especially true in the post-COVID-19 era, where remote work is more prevalent than ever. Many people are starting to plan a long distance moving process due to the fact that they can now work from their homes and do not need to be close to their workplace. Even so, the most common reason for relocation is still:

Landing a new job or losing a job

Why do people relocate? Most of the time, it is because they have to. For example, if someone lives in a very expensive area and loses their job, they might not have any choice in the matter, they will have to relocate. Or they might land a new job in another area which prompts them to change their residence. While remote work is definitely a greater possibility these days, most people still have to travel to their workplace. And this means that losing or landing a new job usually means relocation.

Most people that lose their job find themselves in an awkward situation. Should they take on the risks of moving by yourself or should they hire professional movers? The latter is usually preferable, however, as most people do not wish to deal with both the stress of losing their job and the stress of moving without assistance.

one of the reasons why do people relocate - a job offer
One of the most common reasons for relocation is a job change.

The job itself may require a relocation

Some jobs, such as working in the military, might “force” people to relocate on a regular basis. Or the job involves staying several months or years in one place before relocating to another. Either way, people frequently relocate because their current job demands them to. The 2022 moving trends showcase that many states are experiencing a high influx of new people, and many of those are relocations that were made due to job requirements. One of the reasons why there is an increase in work-related relocations is the fact that companies have started to realize the value of permanent workers.

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Why do people relocate? They might want to be closer to their workplace

With the ever-present increase in gas prices, more and more people are considering the benefits of living close to their workplace. And this inevitably leads to a large number of relocations due to the impact that those benefits might have. While some people might not mind driving/commuting to work for several hours, most of us do not like to “waste” our time that way. When you think about it, being close to your workplace is an outstanding improvement in your overall quality of life. There is a world of difference between spending one hour to get to work (and one hour to get back) and spending 5 minutes for the same.

Family/housing-related relocation reasons

If we were to look (and we did) at why do people relocate due to family reasons, we would find that the most influential reasons are:

  • Being closer to family
  • Establishing their own household
  • Purchasing a new home
  • Change in marital status
a house
Purchasing a home is one of the most common relocation reasons.

Aside from these four, there can be countless other family-related relocation reasons. Every family is quite unique, after all, and there is no limit to possible reasons for relocation. But the most common family-related relocation reason is:

Being closer to family

According to some studies, the second-highest reason for relocation was being closer to family, with 31.8%, whereas relocating due to job-related reasons was only slightly higher, at 32.5%. This is perfectly normal, as people tend to realize how much their family means to them as years go by. Most families become separated throughout their lives and there is usually a strong desire to reconnect. Parents wanting to be closer to their children, children wanting to take care of their parents, there are so many reasons why families might want to get together again. That being said, the most common demographic that moves due to wanting to be closer to the family are people that are over 65 years of age.

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Establishing their own household

Another very common family-related relocation reason is the desire to “leave the nest” and start your own household. Living with your parents has become a longtime running joke, even though it definitely has its merits in today’s economy. Be that as it may, many people choose to relocate due to this particular reason. Some even go as far as to relocate as far away from their parents as they can (and usually relocate back at another point in life). These people search for nationwide moving tips, search for affordable states and cities, and might also soon relocate due to other common reasons. But for most, the chance of establishing their own household is more than worth it.

Change in marital status

One of the simpler answers to the question “Why do people relocate?” is due to a change in marital status. When you get married, the first thing that is on your mind is to secure a new home together. Not all married couples relocate, of course, but many of them do. Furthermore, divorce creates as many relocations as marriages do. In fact, almost every divorce results in at least one relocation.

a married couple
Marriages usually result in at least one relocation and is a common reason why do people relocate.

Purchasing a new home

With the housing market as it is, many people are looking to sell their property and purchase a home in another state. This is closely followed by people wanting to live in an area that has lower living costs. In fact, relocations due to the cost of living comprise almost 7% of all relocations. Also, retirees tend to sell their old homes and purchase homes in another area, making this particular reason one of the most common ones. This relocation reason is most prevalent in large cities, where housing prices are, quite frankly, insane. More and more people are looking to cash in on their homes and purchase property in another state.

Why do people relocate – Other reasons

  • Changing the neighborhood
  • Health
  • Retirement

Changing the neighborhood

Many people are not satisfied with the way things are going in their neighborhoods. Perhaps the neighborhood’s safety is lacking, or there is a lack of entertainment options. Or maybe the neighborhood is too noisy? Regardless of the reason, changing your neighborhood also counts as a lifestyle change, which is around 10% of all relocations. These days, it is very easy to research and compare the neighborhoods (similar to how easy it is to research and compare moving companies), leading to a greater number of relocations due to this reason. Traditionally, people did not have easy access to all the information available to us today and that often stopped them from changing their neighborhood despite not being satisfied with it.


When it comes to health-related relocations, they are usually connected to one of the two following things: Climate and healthcare. Some people have health conditions that simply cannot tolerate excessively warm or cold climates, prompting them to relocate to another state. On the other hand, some people may need easier access to special healthcare facilities or are looking for a state where healthcare is more affordable. Either way, relocations due to health reasons comprised almost 6% of all relocations in 2021.

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Lastly, retirement is one of the most common reasons for moving, with an 18.3% share, according to the United Van Lines study. This is not surprising at all, considering that your life changes in a big way once you retire. Many people are then looking to spend the remainder of their life somewhere else and experience new things. Retirement is also usually closely connected to other family-related relocation reasons, as well.

Why do people relocate? As you can see, there are so many reasons and these were just the most common ones! There are literally thousands of unique reasons, every one of them quite valid.

If you find yourself in a position where you have to relocate (or you want to), you may want to find the best moving company for the job. This is something that Consumer Opinion Guide can help you with. You can also peruse our moving knowledge database to find tips, tricks, and moving advice that can make your relocation that much easier.

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