Americans Are Staying Put and It’s Affecting All of Us — Episode 003

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on August 15, 2017

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This week on Open Space Radio we’re talking about American Mobility — or the rate at which Americans are packing up and moving to find more opportunity elsewhere.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg, the U.S. is the least mobile since mobility measurements were first taken at the end of World War II. Mobility levels have even fallen by almost half since their most recent peak in 1985.

According to economists, there are several reason rural residents aren’t moving such as cost of housing, fear of losing sense of community and support, state-level job licensing and cultural differences.

This article drove a lot of discussion at NRPA, so we spoke with a few staff members to get their take on what this lack of mobility means for the U.S. and, specifically, for parks and recreation.

Kevin Roth, NRPA’s Vice President of Research discusses how the lack of mobility can limit the employment pool for park and recreation agencies in larger cities.   

Kevin O’Hara, NRPA’s Vice President for Urban and Government Affairs shares how Americans need something to bring them together again and how parks and rec can help us find the things we have in common over our differences.

Lastly, Gina Mullins-Cohen, NRPA’s Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Publications shares how we should feel empowered to enact change no matter where we are.



Listen to the episode for the full story.