Region records population gain for 2nd year in a row
Saturday, December 10, 2011
By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For most of the span since the end of World War II, more people have been leaving the Pittsburgh region than flocking to it.
For the second year in a row, that trend has been halted. The relative health of the local economy appears to be a motivator for retaining existing Pittsburghers and creating new ones.
The seven-county metropolitan region attracted 1,430 more people than the number who left it between 2009 and 2010, based on new Internal Revenue Service migration data, according to a report by Christopher Briem, a regional economist for the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research.
That followed a positive domestic migration flow (the IRS data does not include international migration patterns) of 1,337 in 2008-09.
Of the past 15 years, those are the only two in which more people were counted moving into Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties than leaving them, Mr. Briem reported.
The only other period he knows of in the past half-century in which the Pittsburgh region showed any positive population flow was the early 1990s, when again the nation was in an economic downturn more severe elsewhere than locally. Later in the 1990s, as many as 9,000 more people annually were moving out than in.