Friday, April 27, 2007

one last time - migration and Pittsburgh

I really want to move on from this subject.... but lately even more people have been telling me stories about how the population news from last week has resonated quite badly across the country. Supposedly everyone has heard the headline story that population is plummeting and wants to know what is wrong with Pittsburgh.

So ask yourself this question. Having heard the news about Pittsburgh having the 2nd worst population loss other than New Orleans this decade, how do you think Pittsburgh compares in terms of how fast people are fleeing (that is always the verb) the region. The best metric to capture the rate people are choosing to pick up and leave is probably net domestic migration. Data for net domestic migration was also reported last week along with the top line population numbers. Here is how Pittsburgh compares to the 30 largest regions in the US:

So does Pittsburgh show up great? No, but we are far from being last.... or 2nd to last for that matter. When you consider some of the things bave been happening at the same time: natural population decline, and the implosion of USAirways for example, it could have been a lot worse. Arguably we are in the middle of the pack when it comes to this measure of migration. This figure is adjusted for different population sizes among regions, but a lot of regions we often compare ourselves to show up a lot worse. The rate of net domestic out-migration is twice ours in Cleveland, Detroit and even San Diego and almost 3 times higher in Boston. This all becomes a different story when you look at these numbers, but one you have to read more than the headline to get it.

The world must be getting their viewpoint on this from the Carbolic Smoke News' coverage of the population story. It's their fault.


Blogger EdHeath said...

Hmmm, net migration versus gross migration. The gross migration (-60,000)including those who shuffle off this mortal coil… (what dreams may come, indeed) …

Aaaah, panic in the streets! Pittsburgh must do something about its birth/death gap!

Or did I read that wrong?

Friday, April 27, 2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Chris, your insistence on using facts to support your assertions is extremely frustrating.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 9:17:00 AM  

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