Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Where did they come from? Where did they go? Migration in central 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.

Sanpete County (home to the main campus of Snow College) and Wayne County, which lost its largest employer during the tabulated time frame, showed the highest rate of movers (19 and 17 percent respectively). Millard (12 percent) and Sevier (13 percent) counties showed relatively moderate moving rates, while Piute County clocked in with the lowest moving rate in the state—a mere 4 percent.

In central Utah, only Sanpete County displayed a higher number of move-ins than move-outs.

Movers leaving Millard County tended to head for the Wasatch Front—in particular Utah and Salt Lake counties. Many previous Millard County residents also found homes in Beaver, Juab and Washington counties. If Millard County residents left the state, they tended to head to the warmer climates of southern Arizona. Washington, Salt Lake and Iron counties provided major sources of Millard County in-migration.

Those moving out of rural Piute County generally headed for the bright city lights of Salt Lake County. On the other hand, move-ins to the county typically originated in California. A notable number also moved from Utah County. Keep in mind that the margins of error for Piute County data are relatively large and may not entirely reflect the overall pattern of migration.

As in many of the area’s counties, out-migrants from Sanpete County typically found new homes along the Wasatch Front—primarily in Salt Lake and Utah counties. A notable number also moved to Cache County which may reflect Snow College students moving to further their education. In addition, many movers also headed one county south to Sevier County. The Wasatch Front also proved the principal source of Sanpete County in-migrants. Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties all displayed notable numbers of residents who moved to Sanpete County. Remarkably, while most of those heading out-of-state moved to Utah’s neighboring states, Alaska also became home to a noteworthy number of Sanpete County’s out-migrants.

Not be left out of the central Utah trend, many of those who left Sevier County journeyed north to establish new households in Salt Lake and Utah counties. However, being centrally located translated into a more wide-spread out-migration pattern. Significant numbers of residents also moved to Iron, Sanpete, San Juan and Washington counties. Arizona appeared as the prime out-of-state destination for Sevier County out-migration. Moving populations seemed to trade places with Salt Lake, Sanpete, Washington, Wayne and Iron counties providing the largest number of in-migrants.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the largest number of Wayne County residents moved to Arizona. Salt Lake and Sevier counties also became home to a significant number of Wayne County movers. Those coming to Wayne County journeyed from a slightly more diverse set of locations. Salt Lake and Utah counties provided the most new Wayne County residents with a little help from Clark County, Nevada, Washington and Iron counties. Again, Wayne County’s relatively small population has resulted in large margins of error for the migration flows data.