January 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Demographics: Migration: Montana Business Quarterly: Morocco RPCV Douglas J. Young writes about Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: January 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Demographics: Migration: Montana Business Quarterly: Morocco RPCV Douglas J. Young writes about Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-242-91.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 6:37 pm: Edit Post

Morocco RPCV Douglas J. Young writes about Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

Morocco RPCV Douglas J. Young writes about Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

Morocco RPCV Douglas J. Young writes about Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

Migration Patterns Vary by Age and Region

Every parent of a Montana high school or college student knows this statistic to be true: Young people between the ages of 20 and 29 are leaving the state in significant numbers.

The 2000 Census provided the proof. During the 1990s, about 10,000 more people age 20-29 left Montana than moved into the state. It was, in fact, the only age group that showed a loss in population during a decade otherwise notable for its growth. The loss amounted to about 8 percent of Montana's population age 10-19 in 1990.

And in eastern and northern Montana, the loss was even more pronounced. About 20,000 young people (again, in the 20-29 age group) left those regions during the decade.

Interestingly, though, the age group with the largest population increase - about 30,000 people - was that between the ages of 30 and 49. And they brought their children with them as well. Migration increased the number of Montanans age 10-19 by about 15,000 during the 1990s.

So maybe the state's young people - those out-migrating 20'Somethings - only move away for a while, then return after getting a taste of "the rest of the world." Research by Von Reichert and Sylvester (MBQ, Winter 1997) showed that about 60 percent of the people moving to Montana have some sort of tie to the state. Either they lived here once before or have relatives in the state.

This much is certain: Migration had dramatic effects on Montana during the 1990s, affecting the total population, its distribution among counties, and its composition by age. Figure 1 displays net migration by age group in 2000. Net migration is the number of people who moved to Montana minus the number of people who moved away.

Two features stand out. First, overall net migration was positive: Some 55,000 more people moved into Montana than moved out- of-state during the 1990s. Net migration accounted for slightly more than half of Montana's total population gain of 103,000 during the decade. The rest of the gain came from a natural increase: More people were born than died.

The most dramatic differences in migration were by region. As Figure 2 shows, about 75,000 more people moved into the western and southern regions of Montana than moved away during the 1990s. Western and southern Montana covers the counties to the west of the Rocky Mountain crest, plus the southern tier east to Yellowstone County.

Figure 1

Net Migration to Montana 1990-2OOO

Figure 2

Net Migration to Western/Southern Montana

The counties of western and southern Montana, listed in order of population change between 1990 and 2000 are: Gallatin, Missoula, Yellowstone, Flathead, Ravalli, Lewis and Clark, Lake, Jefferson, Stillwater, Sanders, Carbon, Lincoln, Park, Broadwater, Madison, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Mineral, Powell, Sweet Grass, Granite, and Deer Lodge.

Figure 3

Net Migration to Eastern/ Northern Montana

Figure 4

Net Migration to Montana


In western and southern Montana, net migration was positive for every age group, with migrants age 30-49 and their children providing the largest population increase. But even people age 50 and older were more likely to move into western and southern Montana than to leave.

Movement to this region was the result of several factors. First, all of the state's major trade centers (except Great Falls) are located in western and southern Montana. Wholesale and retail trade, business, health, and other services have been, among the fastest- growing sectors of the economy, and they are concentrated in the trade centers. second, some businesses in non-traditional industries were created or expanded. These included manufacturing of various types, including some high-tech firms. Third, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties in the south experienced substantial growth in connection with mining developments in the area.

Finally, some people apparently moved to western and southern Montana as a retirement destination, as evidenced by the over-50 influx.

The picture was not so rosy in eastern and northern Montana. As Figure 3 shows, about 20,000 more people moved out of those regions as moved in during the 1990s. And almost all of the population loss was in the 20-29 age group. Out-migration amounted to 43 percent of this group's 1990 population.

One reason for young people to move is to attend college, and most of Montana's students are enrolled in the western and southern regions of the state. And although some of these young people return home after completing school, others stay on in the growing areas of the state or leave Montana entirely. Indeed, out-migration among 25- 29 year olds was actually greater than among 20-24 year olds during the past decade.

In the state as a whole, migration trends differed dramatically during the 1990s than in the previous five years. With the end of the "energy crisis" in the mid-1980s, and with agriculture experiencing a severe drought in 1988 and employment in Montana's traditional mining and wood products industries on the decline, almost 50,000 more people left the state than moved here (Figure 4).

Then came the 1990s, and Montana's population began to increase. The largest flow of migrants into Montana occurred in the first half of the decade when the nation - and California in particular - struggled to recover from the recession. More recently, the in-flow has slowed. Indeed, the latest estimates from the Census Bureau indicate that from April 2000 to july 2001, people continued to move into Flathead, Gallatin, and Ravalli counties in substantial numbers, but the state as a whole experienced net outmigration. It is not certain, then, whether the migration to Montana will continue as we move through the first decade of the new millennium.

(MBQ, Summer 2002).

Douglas J. Young is a professor of economics at Montana State University-Bozeman. Lucanus Martin was a graduate student at MSU- Bozeman and is currently volunteering with the Peace Corps in Morocco.

Copyright Bureau of Business and Economic Research Winter 2003

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Story Source: Montana Business Quarterly

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Demographics; Migration



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