Thursday, July 01, 2010

Migration to Washington from California dwindling, state report says

I never really considered myself to be a Californian (not that that's a bad thing) but I suppose that Chris and I were probably included in this tally. Come to think of it, after stints in OR, AK, and CA, I still thought of myself as a Washingtonian. A bit odd, don't you think? I wonder what Chris considers himself to be. [My bet would be an Alaskan. Till the day he dies]


On a similar note, when I was growing up in Seattle, we'd see a fast, reckless driver and say, 'man, that dude has to be from California'. When we moved down to Orange Country and I'd observe a slow tortoise behind the wheel, I'd mutter, 'huh, that guy is probably from Washington. Step on it, grandpa!'.

By GERRY SPRATT

SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Good news for the vocal Californians-go-home movement: They aren't necessarily going home, but they aren't showing up in droves as they were a few years ago.
According to new state population estimates from the Office of Financial Management, the ailing economy and the housing crisis have significantly staunched the flow from the Golden State.
Using driver's license data, the report said that approximately 23,700 new residents arrived from California in the 12-month period ending April 1. That's a 10 percent decline from the previous year and a 38 percent plunge from the 2006 peak. It's not a perfect way to measure migration, but the trend is undeniable.
"Driver's license data need to be interpreted with caution because they do not fully capture migration dynamics due to inconsistent data reporting, nationally and internationally," state chief demographer Yi Zhao said in a news release.
Historically, Californians account for 40-50 percent of Washington's growth.

While the influx of new residents to the state dwindled, Seattle and King County are growing at a steady -- albeit slow -- clip, the estimates showed.
Seattle had an estimated 612,000 residents as of April 1, up 8.6 percent from official 2000 Census numbers and 1.7 percent from the 2009 estimate, according to the report. Last year's estimate represented a 1.6 percent increase over 2008.
The estimates are based on school enrollment, housing, voters, driver's licenses and other data. The Office of Financial Management discourages comparing annual estimates to anything other than the Census statistics.
In King County, the April 1 population estimate was 1,933,400. That's an 11.3 percent increase since 2000 and a 1.3 percent increase from 2009. From 2008 to 2009, the county's growth was estimated at 1.2 percent.
Statewide, the estimated April 1 population was 6,733,250, an increase of 14.2 percent over 2000 and 1 percent from 2009. Last year, growth was estimated at 1.2 percent over 2008.
The state's rate of growth has been slowing steadily since the 1.9-percent year-over-year increase shown by the 2006 estimates. Seattle's 1.7-percent jump from 2009 is the highest increase this decade.
Annual growth in King County hit its peak at 1.5 percent in 2006 and was unchanged from 2009.
The report also said that growth in Washington's relatively large Asian and Hispanic population was slowed as international migration was stifled by the economy.
Overall, the state gained an estimate 26,000 new residents in the year ending April 1. That's a slowdown of 33.3 percent from a year earlier, when 39,000 new residents were estimated to have arrived, and 67.9 percent from the 2006 peak, when 81,000 new arrivals were estimated.
Seattle was 138th out of the state's 279 ranked cities in terms of growth rate since 2000.
Gerry Spratt can be reached at 206-448-8012 or gerryspratt@seattlepi.com. Follow Gerry on Twitter at twitter.com/gspratt76.

2 comments:

  1. 1) I am and always will be a Pennsylvanian. I only spent like 5ish years of my life there, but I will forever be a Pennsylvanian. I love that state. :) So I know how y'all feel. I am very eager to move back someday.

    2) I noticed that Seattle drivers were very slow too when we were up there for your wedding. Texans often have mass numbers of people piled up in the truck beds.

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  2. Funny, isn't it? The places where we identify most. I have to agree, though, when we went back to Princeton, it was so incredibly beautiful. What a lovely place.

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