This research has two purposes. First, it examines individual- and household-level factors related to the propensity to move. The findings reveal that mobility is largely a matter of habitual movers changing residence repeatedly and frequently. The second objective is concerned with strengthening the foundation for projecting aggregate levels of mobility: (1) how does repeated movement manifest itself at the metropolitan scale? and (2) for predictive purposes, which aggregate indices capture the most important features of local population composition? Mobility rates were found to vary principally with the prevalence of chronic movers in an SMSA. These findings have several implications for policies designed to guide future population distribution. First, an SMSA’s capacity to correct local manpower imbalances by exchanging human capital with other areas may depend partially on its relative abundance of habitual movers. Second, the likelihood that new cities would attract disproportionate numbers of hypermobile persons might enhance their role within the framework of a broader distribution policy. The question posed here is whether high intrinsic levels of population turnover in some cities might fit into a larger strategy for realigning population growth and distribution nationally.

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