Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Migration on my mind

Since going back like forever* in Pittsburgh there has been an annual wonkish obsession in this town.  I used to fight it and argue against over-interpreting each annual update of data, but let's go with the flow this cycle. The Census gnomes have recently announced when they will next release the latest round of population estimates for counties and metro areas and counties across the nation.  When? That will be a week from tomorrow when we learn data for 2013.

So break out your slide rules and strap in. It invariably generates a round of gnashing or guffawing , depending on what the data says. But what has the data been saying of late? I still encounter folks who just can't believe the basic factoid that more people are moving into the Pittsburgh region than are moving out. To be precise, net migration into the region is positive. We will the latest annual stats on estimated net migration, but also annual births and deaths, which if you add it all up gives an estimate for regional (and county) population growth or decline.

The thing that really is hard to believe for most is that we have already recorded 5** straight years of positive migration. We will learn next week is that trend has extended to a sixth straight year. That extend the streak to the middle of 2013.  If the trend extended to the present, we are almost through our 7th straight year.  I honestly have tried to parse  this out, but can't figure how far you have to go back in history for such an extended period of positive migration for Pittsburgh. Even when the region was last

Here is what the census has said about the trend in population migration impacting the Pittsburgh metro region. 

So Thursday next week.....  BRACE FOR COLLISION!


* 1997 is like forever for millennials, which I presume make up the modal readership here.

** There was no comparable data released for the 2009-2010 period which lead into the 2010 Census.  At one point the census folks briefly released a dataset which included all the intercensal years between 2000 and 2010, but it was retracted. Nonetheless, based on the trend and other data I infer that net migration for the missing year was positive as were the years both prior and subsequent.


Anonymous DBR96A said...

I expect the inbound migration to be down around 2008-2009 levels because the Census Bureau said that Pennsylvania grew by less than 10,000 people between 2012 and 2013. I also expect Bill Steigerwald to reappear since the number won't be as positive as before.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:09:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Is it just me, or does this graph appear to be the inverse of the unemployment rate graph?

I bet that net migration will be less positive than before, but still positive because the unemployment rate is relatively low. My worry is that it'll be negated by the die-off in elderly.

Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:04:00 PM  

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