Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home. . .What share of Utah's residents were born here?

The Census Bureau just released a "brief" on "lifetime mobility" using data from the American Community Survey. Conventional wisdom here in Utah suggests that most people who were born here and then left the state are pining to return. (Those of us who have children living in far-flung states, certainly believe so.)

This new report indicates that roughly 62 percent of all Utahns were indeed born here--despite a strong history on net in-migration. However, that doesn't exactly make us the most home-bound state in the union. While nationally, 59 percent of residents live in the state of their birth, some states show comparable shares of more than 75 percent (Ohio, Michigan, and Louisiana, to be exact).

On the other hand, Utah does show the highest percent of population born in their state of residence of any state in the western U.S. Indeed, we are almost surrounded by states with very low percentages. Our neighbor Nevada shows the lowest percentage of native born population. Only 24 percent of resident Nevadans were born in the state. Not surprisingly, states which experienced a flood on net in-migration tend to also have lower shares of residents who were born in those states.
(Click to Enlarge)

The report also details the percentage of the foreign born population by state. Roughly 8 percent of Utah's population was foreign born compared to 13 percent nationally. California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Nevada show the highest share of foreign-born residents (19 percent or more). States with low foreign-born shares include West Virginia, Montana, Mississippi, and North Dakota (2.5 percent of less).

To read the full report, click here.

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