Is the Great Society a less mobile one?

Michael Giberson

Timothy Taylor observes Census Bureau data showing “geographic mobility in 2011 were at their all-time low since the start of the data in 1948, and were only a tad higher in 2012.” Here is the Census Bureau chart illustrating the data:

Annual Geographical Mobility Rates, 1947-2012 (U.S. Census Bureau).

Annual Geographical Mobility Rates, 1947-2012 (U.S. Census Bureau).

Taylor considers a number of possible explanations, including many explored in a recent article in the Journal of Economics Perspectives (which Taylor edits), and concludes economic research has not yet explained the trend.

My un-researched, eyeball-based study of the chart suggests that LBJ’s Great Society and War on Poverty kicked off the trend and the only significant bump in the road was the early Reagan years.