RECESSION WATCH

Americans Opting to Stay Put

The recession, it seems, has frozen Americans in place: They changed residences less often in 2008 than in any year since Census tracking began in 1948. The trend affected moves of all distances—local, state to state, and even abroad. “We are normally thought of as a country on the move, but now all levels of migration have almost come to standstill,” a demographer at the Brookings Institution tells The Wall Street Journal. “People are just staying put.” The national mover rate, which tracks how many people lived in a different home than they did the year before, was 11.9 percent last year, equal to about 35 million people, down from 13.2 percent in 2007. People in the South and West move most, at 13 percent, while Northeasterners move least, at 8.2 percent. Many are staying put because they can’t sell their homes or won’t accept lower offers from buyers.