Washington, Oregon falling behind Idaho for new residents

Over the last three years, in- and out-migrations to Washington state and Oregon have been close to a wash, while Idaho has become a new moving destination.

That’s according to a new report by the travel data company MoveBuddha. The report also found a shift within Washington, with an exodus from major population centers and cities to more rural towns and municipalities.

This outflow of residents from larger metro areas will likely put a further squeeze on local tax revenues, such as Seattle’s $140 million budget shortfall being reported on by The Center Square.

The MoveBuddha report gathered city-specific data from Jan. 1 to Sept. 6, 2022 and state data from almost three years.

The bottom 30% of the 51 Washington cities studied lost, on average, two residents for every one they gained. Of those 16 cities, all but two of them are in the Seattle metro area with 9 of the 16 being from King County. These include Woodinville, Renton and Federal Way.

With an average home price of nearly $901,000, King County is “one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S., up there with San Diego, San Jose, and Boston.” says the report.

Other drivers of migration called out by the report are rising crime and a regressive tax structure.

As far as move-in winners go, the clear standout is Port Angeles, gaining nearly 2.5 residents for every one resident it lost this year. With the rise of remote work, and changing priorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, towns and cities such as Bellingham, Camas, and Leavenworth are seeing some of the biggest gains.

These cities tend to be in more remote areas of the state, with populations nearer to 100,000 residents.

For interstate movement, the top two states people are leaving for happen to also be the top two states people are coming from. California and Texas respectively account for a combined 26% of the total outflow of people from the Evergreen State, and in the other direction 36% of the total influx. These two states also top the list for Oregon, and are in the top four for Idaho for people moving in both directions.

Washington placed second for the additions to Idaho in 2022, responsible for 10% of the population gain, per the report.

By and large, over the last three years the population of Washington has increased slightly. Only in the 2022 calendar year has the population fallen. So far, the state has failed to replace 6 residents for every 100 that move out of state.

Over the last three years, Washington and Oregon have stayed close to replacement value, while Idaho is the standout here by gaining an average of 2 residents for every one it lost between 2020 and this September.

Salem News Channel Today

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