The American Community Survey, released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau, revealed some of the significant ways that the Recession has affected Americans.
The Census Survey sampled 3 million addresses across the nation, analyzing important demographic information including income, living situation, family growth, and moving behaviors.
Americans are moving again
An atypical uptick was noted in the report: more and more Americans are moving around in the country. “16.9 million people moved between counties in 2012,” a Bloomberg analysis of the Census data shared, also noting that the “volume of domestic migration in the U.S. reached the highest level in five years.” The state of Florida saw some promising news, as new residents moved to the Sunshine State in notable numbers.
What it means to be middle class may be changing
It would seem few citizens have been unaffected by the recent Recession, though the most well-off Americans have continued to thrive. While increases in the overall economy suggest growth, the positive impact of that growth does not seem to be reflected in the lifestyles of the rest of the population with incomes at middle- or lower-class levels.
Median incomes between 2012 and 1989, when adjusted for inflation, indicate an average growth today that is slightly less than in the past. The razor’s edge of high unemployment and tepid wages has taken a toll on middle-class citizens, while the poverty level remains the highest reported in twenty years.
Of certain trends suggested by the Recession, the tendency for people to consolidate their homes has likely leveled off, with fewer people choosing to live with roommates than had done so in the recent past. Multi-generational households – those including an older parent or grandchild – remained at a higher level, however. Likely due to economic uncertainty in a tough job market, fewer new births were reported.