North Dakota: Migration in & Migration out

North Dakota’s economic performance and success is not news anymore. Well, alright, its news, but most people know about it. I have given interviews to media outlets around the country and the world about it, as have many others. So it is not a secret. So if there was an economic motive to migration, and there often is, people already know about it. Here is a graph of ND population change, migration in, and migration out. I calculate migration out as the difference between migration in and total population change.

North Dakota population change, immigration in and out, 2009-2012 (Source: American Community Survey, various years).

North Dakota population change, immigration in and out, 2009-2012 (Source: American Community Survey, various years).

There s already robust migration into North Dakota. In 2012 according to the Census Bureau the migration in totaled 6 percent of the state population. Notice that total population change is typically well below migration into the state. That is because there is still sizable migration out. Surely a good chunk of that is retirees and older residents near retirement age, but not all. As good as the state is doing, there are still people leaving and this is why policies to attract people into the state are a risky venture.

A marketing campaign is one thing, though again I think very few people are unaware of the North Dakota economic boom. Also, there is no possibility of meeting the heightened labor demand via the rate of natural increase, at least not in a timely fashion.

The point is that we already see a large chunk of people coming from out of the state to North Dakota. We also see a large number of people leaving. In future posts I will break down some of these numbers in more detail with some age data.

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