Posted by: Josh Lehner | February 21, 2012

Commuter Outflows

Quick update altering alerting readers to a great resource for data on commuters in terms of geographic locations and some industry data. This is based on a data inquiry to the office and assistance from the good folks over at the Oregon Employment Department. What follows is a quick summary of Oregonians whose primary job is outside the state. The data are available from the Census Bureau’s On The Map tool or if you need the granular, raw data down to the Census Tract, you can download it here (it is extensive, download the tech doc at the top for assistance).

The first table compares the top destinations for Oregonians whose primary job is outside the state in 2009 to the 2000 Census results (ranked by Top 10 states in 2009). Washington is the top destination for commuters with Clark County the most popular county, as expected. One interesting pattern to note is the growth in commuters to Non-Clark County Washington. This increase is essentially 1/3 to the heart of the Puget Sound region (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties), 1/3 to South Central/Southeastern Washington (Benton, Franklin and Yakima Counties) and 1/3 to all other counties. The South Central/Southeastern increase is interesting and a relatively new trend. How much of the increase is due to the Hanford clean up compared to general growth in both the Yakima and Tri-Cities MSAs?

Over 85 percent of all Oregonians who work outside the state work in California, Idaho or Washington, which is not a surprise given these are Oregon’s border states. The graph below illustrates the outflow pattern over the past decade.

The final graph compares the flow of commuters for Clark County and Non-Clark County. In 2009, approximately 30 percent of all Oregonians who worked outside the state worked in Clark County (12,700). Nearly 62 percent of individuals commuting into Oregon came from Clark County (54,200), resulting in a net inflow from Clark County of 41,500. The net inflow of all other geographies totaled 4,600 in 2009.

Note that in about one month the data will be updated through 2010.

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