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Western N.D. Counties Show Growth in Income Due to Migration

From 1993 through 2009, people moving to North Dakota brought with them $8.1 billion in adjusted gross income, while people moving out of the state took with them $9.3 billion.

During 2008 through 2009, 17 counties in North Dakota reported a net gain in adjusted gross income (AGI) due to migration. Thirteen of the counties were in the western part of the state.

However, losses in the remaining 36 counties combined to produce a net loss of $18 million in AGI in North Dakota due to migration alone.

This month’s “Economic Brief,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on the analysis of federal individual income tax returns (released by the Internal Revenue Service) of taxpayers moving to and from North Dakota during the past 16 tax years.

These records show that North Dakota has experienced a continued net loss of AGI as a direct result of migration. North Dakota’s general trend of out-migration has produced long-term economic consequences.

Since 1993, North Dakota has lost $1.2 billion in net AGI as a direct result of migration. From 1993 through 2009, people moving to North Dakota brought with them $8.1 billion in AGI, while people moving out of the state took with them $9.3 billion. Grand Forks and Ward counties showed the largest losses in AGI due to migration, with net outflows of $340 million and $195 million in AGI, respectively, since 1993.

Three counties in the state experienced a net gain in AGI due to migration during the past 16 years. Burleigh County had a net increase of $61 million in AGI due to migration; Morton County, $20 million; and Bottineau County $7 million.

Current data suggests that some flows are becoming positive, specifically in 13 western North Dakota counties. The 13 counties (Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Stark, Ward and Williams) showed a net increase in AGI of $52 million from 2008 through 2009.

Prior to the 2006 through 2007 data, these 13 counties averaged a collective net loss in AGI of $21 million per year.

“These data offer one tool to explore the impact of the western energy development activity,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “The net gain in adjusted gross income flow suggests that not only are many western counties growing in population, but the tax revenues also are dramatically increasing. This is a situation we have not seen in quite some time. One needs to keep in mind that the IRS data have important limitations, such as the need to match returns between years and misreporting due to address changes. Nonetheless, these data offer one way to document the economic consequences of migration."

For information on methodology and limitations of these data, along with further discussion and additional tables, go to http://www.ndsu.edu/sdc/publications/research.htm#migration.


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
Attachments
Migration Flows by County Preview
(0816 Econ brief migration.pdf - 176.49 Kb)
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