Thursday, March 19, 2009

Population ever again

I'll just put this update here: Not related perefectly, but there are Pittsburgh and Youngstown mentions in this article in Forbes by diasporan herself Lauren Sherman: America's Downsized Cities

Yeah, yeah, another year's worth of new census estimates of the region's population are out. Read the PG or the Trib versions of the story or the bigger picture from the AP.

Here is what is interesting for us. IMHO of course. Total net migration estimated for the Pittsburgh region over the last year is all of 708 more people who left compared to the number that arrived. So it's still true that more people are leaving, but 708 is a pretty small number for us. Here is what the net migration trends are for the Pittsburgh Region from the data just released:

I'll add a technical point that is important just a bit. This data reflects population as of July 1 each year. So the change data is for change through a 12 month period ending on July 1. So if there is some connection between this data and the ongoing recession, this data is really reflecting only the the early parts of the recession... it is now officially dated back to November 2007, but as of July 1, 2008 (the last estimate per this report) the recession's start had not yet been dated and some of the worst was yet to come..

As these things go, that's a pretty big difference from 2005 until recently. Still a negative number, but one of the smallest numbers since the early part of the 1990's when there was a brief period when net migration was positive. What may be causing that trend in lower net migration from Pittsburgh? Here are my quick blog musings on how relative economic conditions are affecting migration trends here. In that old post, the graphic I put together is from early last fall and could use updating.. point is probably a little bit stronger these days even.


Blogger EdHeath said...

Do these Census figures reflect only migration (in and out), or migration plus births and deaths?

Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:11:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I am highlighting in the graph just the migration part of the data just released because that is probably the only part of the data that will change a lot year over year. Births and deaths are much more predictable trends comparably and reflect longer term demographic changes going on. but the natural population change (births minus deaths) data was released as well and is part of the overall population change being reported today. Both news accounts have the overall population change reported. Natural population change continues to be negative here as well, but also smaller than the recent past... but it will remain negative for the next few years for sure barring an extraordinarily large influx of younger folks moving here quickly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:32:00 AM  
Blogger Pittsburgh Conservative said...

Chris, in your opinion, is there an upper time limit on the decision to relocate (on a macro scale)? I'm curious if there have been any studies that look at the length of a recession and its effect on migration patterns. Some areas like NYC entered the recession on the front end, where other places lagged a bit. The recent article in Forbes (?) observed that there might be huge regional variations in the timing and speed of recovery. What part do you think that might play on this type of migration?

Also, somewhere, George Costanza is smiling: "But even Allegheny County officials could be pleased by shrinkage ..."

Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:52:00 AM  
Blogger EdHeath said...

PC's and your comments inspired this thought for a press release: "We are pleased to announce a reduction in the rate of shrinkage".

Just being silly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BLS has been reporting dramatic (for Pittsburgh) labor force growth for the past year... the January '09 year-over-year increase is over 20,000. Up until the past couple years, the labor force population was essentially stagnant for 15 years. I believe this has got to indicate an elevated level of in-migration for Metro Pittsburgh. Perhaps when the Jul. 2009 estimates come out next year... we'll finally see a population gain.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I think we have been talking about the recession's impact on migration here for some time. but yeah.

No new estimates coming out in July.. this was it for the region. July is when municipal level estimates will come out, but they will just show how the county level numbers released today are divided out. We will not learn all that much until a year from now, but we may get some clues when I get to poke at the raw migration data that was driving these numbers today.

for PC. The timing issue is real and known. Most models of migration will includefactors lagged by a year or two when looking at causes of migration outcomes. That different regions enter recessions at different times will obviously be a factor. But I think you ask something more interesting which is whether different regions will keep or retain workers differently. Or some more in depth look at the time aspects. I am not so up on all the work out there of late, I would not be surprised if someone has looked at that... but it isn't in the more common models I am aware of which just deal with the time aspect in some basic ways. A good topic for someone though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:19:00 PM  

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