Phoenix in flux: household instability, residential mobility, and neighborhood change

Patricia Gober, Kevin McHugh, N. Reid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


The linkages between household instability and residential mobility underlie patterns of population change in the city. To explicate these linkages in Phoenix, Arizona, a rapidly growing Sunbelt city with high population turnover, we queried a sample of residents about their living arrangements and mobility status from 1986-88. The terms stable and unstable refer to household status; movers and stayers refer to mobility status. Results indicate that there is considerable flux in the Phoenix population. One-third of our respondents experienced a change in household status, a residential move, or both. The rates of mobility for rental housing exceed the rates of household change, resulting in stable moving. Owners, especially those in older neighborhoods, are more likely to change living arrangements than to move, resulting in unstable staying. Mobility exceeds household instability in areas where nonfamilies are disproportionately represented; instability exceeds mobility where families dominate. A map of family versus nonfamily households provides clues to the geographic distribution of stable movers and unstable stayers. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnals - Association of American Geographers
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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