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Geist, Claudia (2008). Geographical Mobility over the Life Course: Motivations and Implications. Population, Space and Place, 14(4), 283-303.


Studies of geographical mobility are typically divided into studies of residential mobility, which are assumed to be motivated by family factors, and studies of migration, which are assumed to be motivated by the opportunities for realising economic gains as a result of the move. We use a life course approach and data from the 1999-2005 March Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey to investigate the age trajectories of both residential mobility and migration among American adults. We find that mobility trajectories and motivations for moves vary by economic status and family status; that quality of life motivations and family factors account for a substantial proportion of long-distance as well as short-distance moves; and that both residential mobility and migration are associated with an increased risk of economic instability and family and employment changes in the year following the move.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population, Space and Place


Geist, Claudia