In San Francisco, developers are seeking permission to rent out apartments as small as 220 square feet, a little more than twice the size of some prison cells.
Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire, said it's hard to predict how much migration ultimately will pick up given the uncertainty in the economy. He said the people making the biggest moves in the coming years likely will be those who feel they must: young adults in search of jobs, couples with small children seeking better schools, new retirees desiring high-amenity recreational living.
"I suspect the recession has sobered the American population about migration," Johnson said.
The census findings are based on the Current Population Survey as of March 2012, as well as comparisons of the 2006-2008 and the 2009-2011 American Community Survey to provide a snapshot of every U.S. community with at least 20,000 residents. Figures from the 2011 American Community Survey also are used to establish broader trends.