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Relocation Reports

About the Reports

NAR Research has produced a total of 3,147 Relocation Reports for U.S. counties. The Relocation Report for each county presents information for that county on county‐to‐county migration flows within the United States, the average incomes of households moving between the specific county and other counties, demographic summaries of homeownership rates, and types of home mortgages (e.g., Conventional, FHA, VA, and FSA/RHS).

Realtors®, as well as businesses engaged in transport and relocation, can use the information to expand their operations in states and counties that have strong migration flows and to develop marketing and advertising strategies. The 2012 Report uses the latest available data as of 2010 generated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Census Bureau, and the Home Mortgage Development Agency (HMDA).

Broad Trends

Total domestic internal migration, defined as movement by a household between counties in the U.S., was estimated at 6.7 million households (IRS) in 2010. Approximately 58 percent of movers were households who migrated from one county to another within the same state while the rest migrated to other states.

The tables summarize counties with the highest levels of internal migration. For example, Los Angeles, CA had the highest number of in-migrants and out-migrants. Riverside County had the largest net inflow while Los Angeles, CA had the largest net outflow.

Sources of Data and Methodology

Internal Revenue Service Data

The county-to-county migration statistics data is computed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is reported in its Statistics of Income Tax Stats.

A migrant is defined as a household that moves to/from a county within the same state or to/from a county to a different state. Households who changed addresses and moved within the same county are not classified as migrants (they are movers, but not migrants). The migration statistics are based on individual income tax returns filed by citizens and resident aliens. Only the tax returns for which the social security number of the primary taxpayer reported on the return in the first year (e.g, 2009) matched the social security number reported on the return filed in the second year (e.g, 2010) were counted as "matching returns," which IRS uses to classify the primary tax filer (e.g, "household") as a migrant or a non-migrant.

The IRS suppresses data based on certain criteria such as when the total number of tax returns is less than 10 or if the migration flow count is less than 10. There are 97 counties with suppressed data, in the states of AK, CO, GA, ID, KY, MO, MT, NE, NM, OR, SD, UT, TX. The reports for these counties are in a special file: Counties with Suppressed Data. In each of the reports for counties with suppressed data certain data items are denoted as "(1)". This designation does not represent a value of "1"; rather, the designation indicates that data are not available for the specific data item. Where data are available from the sources used the data are presented.

NAR Research computed a county's household average gross income for a certain group (in-migrant, out-migrant, non-migrant) as the Total Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) that was reported by the IRS divided by the number of households (equal to number of tax returns) for that group. The income index was computed as the ratio of the average household AGI of a certain group to the average household AGI of non-migrants for the whole US. An index =100 indicates that the average household AGI of a certain group is equal to the average household AGI of non-migrants for the whole US. As an example, a county with in-migrants with income indexes greater than 100 and out-migrants with incomes of less than 100 would be attracting high income earners.

American Community Survey Data

The data for the table on Homeownership Rate is obtained from the 2010 American Community Survey of the Census Bureau, specifically Table SF4_DP04.

HMDA Data

Data obtained pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) provide the information for the table on Home Sales with Mortgages, obtained from the HMDA Loan Application Register.

Mortgage loan data is summarized by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). The aggregate tables and individual disclosure reports for calendar years 1999 - 2010 are available on the FFIEC website.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) is a formal interagency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. In 2006, the State Liaison Committee (SLC) was added to the Council as a voting member. The SLC includes representatives from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the American Council of State Savings Supervisors (ACSSS), and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS).

Where to Find the Latest Relocation Reports

Visit the store and download the latest Relocation Report for your county. These reports are FREE to members.