Bay Area's Population Problem: More Out Than In

More people leave the 9-county region than migrate there from other states. In fact, the population would be in decline if it wasn't for foreign migration. Notably missing from the report on Census data is the birth rate for the region.

Aaron Glantz compiled the findings from data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. Bar graphs of in and out migration are shown for each of the 9 counties composing the San Francisco Bay region. Only San Francisco had more people moving out of the county than into it.

"Approximately 400,000 local residents move [sic] out of the Bay Area every year between 2005 and 2009, while just 345,000 people moved here from other parts of the country - a loss of about 55,000 residents annually. But about 71,000 people moved to the Bay Area from other nations during each of those years, contributing to the region's population growth."

Santa Clara county, home to Silicon Valley, saw the most pronounced population shift "where 24,000 new immigrants arrived as 83,000 residents left."

"Professor James Lai, who heads the ethnic studies department at Santa Clara University, blamed the gap on high-tech companies that, he said, preferred to hire immigrants on temporary work visas "because they are cheaper."

"Many of the people who left the Bay Area headed to the Central Valley, where the cost of living is lower, or to warmer, more sprawling cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, the data show."

Thanks to The Bay Citizen

Full Story: Bay Area Residents Leaving in Droves

Comments

Comments

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

corrected links-Planetizen: Population Growth Slows Dramatically

Apologies - see above "Related links"; there are TWO broken links. Corrected below:
Planetizen: Population Growth Slows Dramatically in California, Including Fewer Births. (9 December 2011 )
Note the state's low growth rate, .7%, though higher than preceding time period (it's a fiscal year, I believe, not a calendar year), and the low fertility rate, below replacement levels.

Capitol Alert: Population Growth Slows Dramatically in California, Including Fewer Births. (December 9, 2010)
While this article contains much the same information, it includes a key percentage which led me to conclude the incompleteness of the Bay Citizen report:
"The Department of Finance report says that during the 2009-10 period, there were 525,000 births and 241,000 deaths, which accounted for 81 percent of the growth, and net migration of 66,000 made up the other 19 percent." While the fertility rate may now be 1.9%, the birth rate keeps the state growing - I'll leave that to someone else to explain.....

Cause of Bay Area Population Change

The news story makes it sound as if people want to move out of the Bay Area. But look the numbers and think about what the cause is:

"Approximately 400,000 local residents move [sic] out of the Bay Area every year between 2005 and 2009, while just 345,000 people moved here from other parts of the country — a loss of about 55,000 residents annually. But about 71,000 people moved to the Bay Area from other nations during each of those years, contributing to the region's population growth."

My guess is that the Bay Area has only been producing enough new housing to accommodate that population gain of 16,000 per year. Scarcity of housing and high housing prices are what cause net out-migration within the US.

If this is true, then population would not decline if immigration ended.

Note, also, that these are numbers from before the housing bubble burst. Many of the people moving out of the Bay Area actually moved out of the counties that the census bureau defines as the Bay Area to more remote counties - and continued to commute into the Bay Area.

Charles Siegel

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Bay Area Emigration Due To No-Growth Policies?

Chuck writes, "My guess is that the Bay Area has only been producing enough new housing to accommodate that population gain of 16,000 per year. Scarcity of housing and high housing prices are what cause net out-migration within the US."

If you look at the census data on exurban vs urban growth, e.g. Planetizen: America Chooses More Urban and Less Suburban, I must agree emphatically. To add to the USA Today article (summarized by Planetizen), consider this excellent AP report:
Growth of ‘exurbs’ falls to historic low
today on the census findings that adds to the proof that urban is preferred over exurban - if only the housing was available and affordable.

The Bay Area has a 'growth' problem - it's stunted, artificially, or should I say, intentionally!

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

CA emigration.

The Bay Area has a 'growth' problem - it's stunted, artificially, or should I say, intentionally!

From an ecological standpoint, there are probably at least ~20M too many humans in CA. Not a problem to have a no-growth policy.

Best,

D

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