Where are Newcomers From, Where are Others Going?

Despite the housing market contraction that helped ignite the recession, Idahoans continued moving to other states at the same annual rate between 2007 and 2011, but the number of people from other states moving to Idaho dropped dramatically, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The new 2011 census figures, for the first time, included estimates of educational attainment and annual income for those moving in and out. In Idaho, those moving into the state were a little more prosperous than those moving out but a little less educated, on a percentage basis.

Annual Domestic Migration

An average of 55,000 Idahoans moved to other states annually from 2007 to 2011 – about 3.5 percent of the population. Even with the housing market tightening significantly during the recession, the rate of movement out of the state was essentially constant.

Those outmigrants were more than offset by people from other states moving into Idaho, but the number of newcomers dropped from over 73,000 in 2007 – the peak of Idaho’s economic expansion – to just over 60,000 on 2011.

Since 2009, the Census Bureau has been providing the destinations of outmigrants and the origins of inmigrants, and the movement in and out of Idaho has been consistent every year. Over half the Idahoans leaving the state head for Washington, Oregon, Utah and California, and those four states provide over half the people moving into Idaho every year.

Idaho has seen a net population gain in the migration with Washington and California, but more Idahoans move to Oregon and Utah each year than people from those states move to Idaho. Utah typically had the largest net gain from migration of any state in 2009 at nearly 900 and in 2010 at over 1,000.

Net Loss table

Texas had the largest net gain in migration with Idaho at nearly 1,400 in 2011.

The Census Bureau five-year estimates showed migration in both directions between Idaho and every state but Delaware in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In each of those three years, 11 states saw more Idahoans moving in than their residents moving to Idaho.

Percent migration by income

The 2011 estimates added education and income to the destinations and origins of migrants. In income 53.2 percent of those moving to Idaho and 53.2 percent of those moving out of Idaho had incomes at or below the Census Bureau’s median individual income estimate for 2011 of $24,890.

At the upper income brackets, 13 percent of those moving to Idaho had incomes of $75,000 and higher while 11.3 percent of those moving to other states had incomes at that level.

Generally, the educational attainment of those moving in and out of Idaho is higher than Idaho’s population age 25 and older overall. A third or more of those moving in and out of the state have college degrees or higher while only about a quarter of the overall adult population had degrees or higher in 2011.

Migrants by Education

While the percentages show slightly higher postsecondary educational attainment, the actual number of outgoing migrants is smaller because the overall outmigration from Idaho has been smaller than the inmigration.

Migration by state

Migration all states

Bob.Fick@labor.idaho.gov, Communications Manager
(208) 332-3570, ext. 3628