Recent Migration Trends in the U.S.
The latest population estimates for U.S. counties were recently released showing that the Rocky Mountain West region continues to grow. The single fastest growing state between July of 2007 and July of 2008 is Utah, with an increase of 2.53%. The 5th, 6th, and 7th fastest growing states are other Rocky Mountain West states – Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming, at 2.00%, 1.85%, and 1.80% growth, respectively. The other Rocky Mountain West state, Montana, is the 14th fastest growing with growth of 1.13%. The U.S. as a whole grew by 0.93%.

Population change in a particular area is the product of three things – area births, area deaths, and area net migration or the number of persons moving from an area versus the number moving to the area, considering only those who actually change their permanent residence in the process. Sixty-four percent of Utah’s total population growth during the year was from positive net migration. About 60% of growth by both Wyoming and Montana and about half of growth by Colorado and Idaho was positive net migration. So migration trends play a large role in regional growth patterns.

The map below shows the most recent pattern of population change, considering only percentage change resulting in the last year from net migration. The counties that are dark red added 2% or more to their populations between 2007 and 2008 through net in-migration. Those in medium red added 1 to 2% and the ones in light red added half a percent to one percent. These red counties are the ones where people are moving to disproportionately. On the other hand the ones in black and gray are areas where considerably more people are moving away than those moving to the area. (read more)
In Montana the population grew by 10,816 people statewide. Net migration added 6,332 people to the state’s population. The rest were due to natural change, or births versus deaths, which added 4,484 people. As you look across the state the counties mainly accounting for the gains through net migration are Yellowstone, adding 1,796 through net migration, Gallatin adding 1,699, Flathead adding 1,217, Missoula adding 1,013, and Lewis and Clark adding 751. Next is Ravalli, which added 278 through net migration between 2007 and 2008. The counties with the biggest losses through net migration were Hill losing 233, Cascade losing 193, Glacier losing 183, and Roosevelt, which lost 161 persons through net migration.

The map below considers only population change occurring through births and deaths during the year. Counties in dark red had more births than deaths, with births out-numbering deaths by 100 or more. Those in medium red had more births than deaths, but the difference was less than 100 births. And counties in black are ones that simply had more deaths than births. Over the last couple of decades as the U.S. population continues to age, mainly because of steady aging among the large baby boomer group, more and more counties are moving from a situation where they consistently had more births than deaths to just the opposite and the black counties in the map where this is occurring tend to be ones where population aging is most pronounced.
Provided by Larry Swanson