Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Where did they come from? Where did they go? Migration in southwest Utah

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released their County-to-County Migration Flows tables. This data collected by the American Community Survey tracks the yearly movements of individuals between 2007 and 2011.

There was certainly a lot of moving going on. Roughly 6 percent of the population age one and older moved across county lines or to another country during the time period. Remember, this is survey data, and the margins of error for small counties may be quite large. Margins of error can be found in the downloadable files here.

The following data visualization allows you to extract and map migration flows by individual county. Here are a few interesting tidbits from the data.

Counties with large college-student populations tend to show the highest moving rates. Note both Iron and Washington counties display moving rates of roughly one-fifth during the 2007-2011 time period.

Beaver, Garfield and Kane counties displayed moving rates about half the level of the two largest counties in the region. These three smaller counties also experienced a higher number of out-migrants than in-migrants.

Most Beaver County out-migrants moved to another county in Utah. Utah County proved their most likely destination. Those leaving the state were most likely to move to California. Washington and Millard counties contributed most heavily to Beaver County’s in-migration.

Although a substantial number of Garfield County out-migrants ended up in another state, movers were still more likely to choose a new Utah residence. Again, Utah County proved the most likely recipient of Garfield County’s out-migrants. On the other hand, those moving across state lines showed the highest propensity for new homes in Arizona. Interestingly, both Oregon and Nevada contributed heavily to Garfield County’s out-of-state in-migrants. From within Utah, the highest number of movers originated in Emery County.

Those leaving Iron County demonstrated a propensity to head south to Washington County, although Salt Lake and Utah counties also became home to many who moved out of the area. Those Iron County residents moving outside of Utah often ended up in Arizona or California. The largest number of in-migrants to Iron County just crossed the border from Washington County, although Clark County, Nevada (home to Las Vegas) ran a close second. California was also a major source of Iron County in-migration between 2007 and 2011.

Iron County provided the largest source of new residents for Kane County. A notable number of in-migrants also moved from Nevada and over-the-border from Arizona. For those departing Kane County for other Utah residences, Salt Lake , Iron and Weber counties proved prime destination spots. Residents leaving the state tended to end up in either Clark County, Nevada or Coconino County, Arizona.

Washington County out-migrants typically found new homes in Utah and Salt Lake counties, with many also moving to neighboring Iron County and Clark County, Nevada. Most out-migrants leaving the general area headed south to California, Arizona and Texas. Mirroring out-migration, Utah, Salt Lake, Iron and Clark County, Nevada also provided Washington County’s largest number of new residents between 2007 and 2011.