Posted by: Josh Lehner | January 26, 2018

Fun Friday: Insular States vs Cosmopolitan, Origin vs Destination

Oregon’s ability to attract and retain young, skilled, working-age households is one of, if not the key driver of the regional economy over the long-run. If you look at the current population — among U.S.-born residents, we’re excluding international migrants for this analysis — Oregon is about 50/50 in terms of those born in Oregon versus those born in a different state. However if you look at just the adult population (kids don’t really get to choose where they live), Oregon is 43% born in the state vs 57% born in a different state. Clearly, many of the discussions we have around population growth, housing issues and the like have a strong twinge of migration hypocrisy, to say the least.

While we typically talk about migration flows from one place to another, what about migration trends based upon where people are born? We know many of the current residents in Oregon were born outside the state, but where do all of the Oregon-born residents live today? How many have stayed in Oregon, or fled to other states around the country? This is another one of those half-baked ideas that has been floating around in my head and I thought I would share today, being a Fun Friday and all.

What I have done is group all the states into four categories based upon the share of their current population that was born in that state, and the share of all U.S. residents born in that state that still live there.

  • Insular: less migration in from other states, less migration out of native-born
  • Origin: less migration in from other states, more migration out of native-born
  • Cosmopolitan: more migration in from other states, more migration out of native-born
  • Destination: more migration in from other states, less migration out of native-born

I know this sounds a bit confusing, so let’s look at the results and use Oregon as an example. On the horizontal axis you see the share of the current population that was born in that state. For Oregon, that’s 43% (meaning 57% migrant share). On the vertical axis you see the share of adults currently living in the state in which they were born. For Oregon that’s 61% (meaning 39% of Oregon-born citizens have moved to a different state). The divisions into the various groups are relative to the U.S. averages.

The scatterplot can be a bit noisy, but there is a clear spatial pattern to the results that pops out a bit better on a map.

Digging a bit further into the numbers for Oregon shows that, as expected, most of the non-Oregon-born residents today came from California and Washington, while most of the Oregonians who left the state moved to California and Washington as well. People do not tend to move too far away, and usually move to a neighboring state.


Responses

  1. […] Source: Fun Friday: Insular States vs Cosmopolitan, Origin vs Destination | Oregon Office of Economic Analys… […]

  2. There are supposed to be over 4 million people in Oregon, but the table only covers 2.73 million.

    • That’s right. The table only shows the Top 10 states. The other 40 account for the difference, plus international migrants too which are about 400,000 total and not included in this post/analysis since it only looked at domestic migration.

  3. […] Here’s a map that divides US states into four categories according to whether or not people are moving in or out of the state, and where those people are coming from. Via Alex Bauman on Twitter and the great state of Oregon, you can see that Minnesota turns out to be an “insular” state, along with much of the Upper Midwest. […]


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