Are You A Native Idahoan? Data Show Most Idaho Residents Aren't

Aug 15, 2014

This data viz from the New York Times shows how Idaho's population has changed since 1900.
Credit New York Times screengrab

An interesting take on state-to-state migration from The New York Times illustrates what many Idahoans already knew: a lot of California natives now live in Idaho.

The Times created a data visualization of migration to each state going back to 1900. It's no surprise that at the turn of the 20th century, most people moving to Idaho were immigrants from outside of the U.S., the northeast and the midwest.

By the 1960s, more than half of the people living in Idaho were born here. Newcomers were mostly from other western states like Utah and Washington.

By the 1980s, the great California-to-Idaho migration was underway. The Times reports the number of Idahoans born in California has tripled since 1980, and now make up 12 percent of Idaho's total population.

Now, fewer than half -- 47 percent -- of Idahoans can truly call themselves natives.

An interesting point the Times illustrates is that the second-largest segment of newcomers to Idaho have migrated from outside the United States. That may not be surprising given Idaho's population of migrant farm workers and foreign refugees.

For a different take on recent migration to Idaho, check out this map showing migration based on driver's license data, and this map based on tax return data.

Find reporter Emilie Ritter Saunders on Twitter @emiliersaunders