A smaller share of Americans married, drove to work alone, owned their own home or moved to a new residence last year than the year before, reports the New York Times.
More lived in overcrowded housing. Property values declined. And fewer immigrants arrived, which meant that for the first time since the beginning of the decade, the total number of foreign-born people in the country did not grow.
Those were among the findings released in the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, a wealth of data comparing the nation’s profile in 2008 with that of 2007.
For example, after rising steadily since 2000, median home values dropped in 2008, and the homeownership rate fell half a point, to 66.6 percent, the lowest since 2002. Among blacks, who have been disproportionately affected by foreclosures, home ownership fell a full point, to 45.6 percent.
Furthermore, in a country where people typically move to take advantage of better job opportunities, those who changed residences fell to 15 percent in 2008, from a recent peak of 16 percent in 2006.
Earlier private and government surveys suggested that immigration was slowing, but these were the first annual census figures showing it to be stagnant. Continue reading →