Residential and family histories collected from a sample of 4,027 couples in their first marriage and living in the Philadelphia-Trenton metropolitan area in 1960 are analyzed to determine the effects of marriage duration and childbearing on moving within the “local area.” Rates of moving decline sharply during the early years of marriage and more slowly after the tenth year. At any given marriage duration, the birth of children is associated with higher rates of moving. If the persons-per-room ratio of non-movers represents an acceptable household density, moving can be shown to be an adjustment mechanism whereby housing space is brought in balance with family needs. When couples who moved during a given three-year period defined in terms of marriage duration are compared with couples who did not move during that period, the movers are found to have had higher initial densities, would have had substantially higher densities had they not moved, but have similar terminal (after move) densities.
KeywordsHousehold Head Previous Period Life Cycle Stage Dwelling Unit Family Growth
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