Many theories of geographic mobility assume that the change-of-residence process includes a substantial degree of choice. This paper classifies stated reasons for moving from the 1973 through 1977 Annual Housing Survey into forced, imposed, and preference-dominated categories. About 25 percent of residential mobility and 40 percent of migration occurred under conditions of substantial constraint. Mobility was most often constrained by family dynamics; for migration, occupational relocations frequently imposed the decision-to-move process and determined destinations. The volume of constrained movement indicates that its impact upon individuals, population dynamics, and voluntaristic theories of mobility deserves greater consideration.

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