The numbers above represent those giving the most positive relocation answer that, yes, they were planning to relocate.
Of the four groups shown above, the “married” category is the largest and the “civil union” category is by far the smallest. The other two are large, but are substantially less than those married.
Despite the drop in 2009 overall, two groups grew steadily: those married and those divorced, widowed, or separated (D/W/S), albeit very slowly from 2007 to 2009. The other two fell back in 2009, but recovered and rose sharply in 2011.
In my eye, it is the increase in single people that leaps out as especially significant. It makes perfect sense, given the dramatic increase in this response from the 25-34 age group, but there is more to this story, although it may not be clear from the statistics.
It is a reasonable comment that single people (and those divorced, widowed, or separated) are freer to move simply because only one person has to make the decision, while those married or in civil unions require a couple’s agreement to relocate.
I understand that, but at the same time, this could have been the case in every one of our surveys, but the single category sank in 2009 and the D/W/S category was hardly remarkable.
Another explanation could be that many single people unemployed today still had jobs in 2009 and were holding onto them tightly, thus affecting their decision to relocate. That may be true, or not. If we choose to survey again, we now have reason to look into this. Speculation is reasonable, but it requires more research to determine its validity.
However, there is another way to look at this. The single and D/W/S households are primarily made up of one person (one adult may have a child in some instances). The married and civil union households will have two or more people. So if we combine the four categories into two categories, households of one person and households of two or more, what do we see?
Now we see that the “single-person household” has returned to its dominant position in respect to multi-person households. Whatever factors intervened in 2009 to bring this relationship to near-equality are clearly no longer having an impact.
From either perspective, the numbers carry a message. The single-person household is again spearheading the group who have passed beyond the two “interested” categories and are now actively planning their relocation. Single people are its leading element, but those divorced, widowed, or separated have more than tripled in number and are now a much larger element.