In another post, I discuss those planning to relocate to another nation by age group. In this post, we will look at those who chose two other answers to the question, “Are you planning to relocate to another nation for more than two years for reasons other than the requirements of the military, the government, or your job?” by responding either with “Yes, I am seriously considering it and am likely to do it” or “Yes, I am somewhat seriously considering it and may do it”, also by age group.
While the 25-34 age group is the most striking in the “planning” category, it is another group that jumps out at us in this graph, the 18-24 age group.
In 2009, despite the sharp drop-off in those planning to relocate in the two younger age groups, the rise in interest of Americans 18-24 in relocation was dramatic. In 2011, they surpassed their old record and set a new one, almost reaching 40%.
If you are my age (I am 66), you may find this almost unbelievable. Although I was surprised to see interest rise to a new high, I find it very believable. By the time they were 15 years old, every one of them was living in the 21st century. The Internet has always been an intimate part of their lives. Famous names like Mao, Khrushchev, Nixon, Kennedy, Reagan and others are just names they have memorized in history class at some point, but not much more than that for most of them. They see things differently than my age group, experience them differently, and relate to them differently. The world is far smaller to them than it was to me at their age.
The number actually planning to relocate may have collapsed, as seen in the other post mentioned earlier, but the interest is definitely there. I suspect that the lack of jobs and fears for the future are major elements in depressing their numbers now. And it is very possible that parents who might once have been able to help financially are no longer in a position to do so. Those 18-24 have to keep their focus on getting by in difficult times, but that doesn’t mean they have to give up their dreams; they have to be patient.
In years to come when relocation is financially feasible for many of those interested today, we may find that the 25-34 age group that is so prominent among those planning to relocate today may just set a new record or two as these young adults move up.
There are reasons for dividing up the total respondents into the age groups shown in the graph above. They roughly represent different “stages” of life in the American context. However, two of them are especially small: those 18-24 and those 70 and older. Due to their comparatively small size, let’s combine each of them with their “neighbor” age group. Then we have 18-34, 35-54 and 55 and older.
Seen from this perspective, the differences separating the age groups are not quite so dramatic. But it also underlines that the greatest interest in relocation is clearly among younger adults. Among the middle-aged and older adult communities, the interest is still there, but has yet to recover to earlier levels.
This can be a little misleading. Those older age groups also have demonstrated a substantial increase in the number now actually planning their relocation compared to earlier years, so some of the apparent decline results simply from “interested” people moving to the planning stage.
It also can be expected that these age groups are more likely to be married, more likely to have children, thus more likely to face financial difficulties, and less likely to be considering anything other than getting through this crisis successfully. It may take some time for the other adults in these groups, currently not interested in relocation and not represented in these graphs, to become interested.