Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Migration Patterns in the Past Five Years

Oregon is an in-migration state. For many years, more people have moved into Oregon each year than have moved out of the state. This population growth fuels the expansion of our cities and brings new brain power to add to Oregon's future economic engine.

Newly available data provides some information on migration into and out of Oregon by occupational group.*

The numbers show a surprising trend in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media, where net in-migration is estimated above 2,000 per year. This is a small group of occupations in Oregon, with 2010 employment estimated at a little more than 23,000, so the net in-migration accounted for about 9 percent of 2010 employment. The only other group with that magnitude of in-migration compared with employment levels was extraction workers, where in-migration accounts for about 10 percent of the employment estimated in 2010.

Military occupations are the only group where net in-migration is negative: the number of people in military occupations that move out of Oregon exceeds the number moving into Oregon by close to 1,000 each year. That makes sense; since the state has no major military bases, service members would tend to move out.

There was migration flow between Oregon and every other state in the nation between 2005 and 2009, but California was by far the greatest source of net in-migrants to Oregon. An estimated average of 43,775 people moved from California to Oregon each year during the period, while 20,241 moved from Oregon to California - leaving estimated net in-migration of more than 23,000 each year. The next largest net migration number was Washington's: Oregon loses about 3,500 more residents to the Evergreen State each year than the state gains from that source.

To learn more about Oregon's migration patterns, read the full story, written by Economist Jessica Nelson.

*Out-migration data is not available for individuals who move out of the country, however individuals who move in to Oregon from another country are included. Therefore, the total number of net migrants by occupation is likely overstated.

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