Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Is Whatcom County being deluged with Californians?

 Are we being deluged by big bucks Californians? Selling their Bay Area  homes for bank to come buy their escape from California in Whatcom County? Well...maybe not quite.  But the surging property market in Whatcom County  might allow you to think so inspired by articles like this on those leaving California:  This next Census article refers to recent updates on state migration patterns:

The problem is that state and county migration patterns are really complex and heterogenous. Americans historically move *alot*. But it looks like the percentage of Americans that move is dropping.  Migration to Whatcom County it is not quite what you may think it is. We are actually receiving people from all over United States, but most come from inside WA (especially King and Snohomish). There is a fair amount moving from California to Whatcom County, but some of that migration is coming from agricultural counties in California like Madera County. Remember that "IN migration" displaces "OUT migration". So that we may see 6,100 from states outside of WA move into Whatcom County  in the same year we also see 4,200 move out of Whatcom to a different state. Still, the greatest migration flows in Whatcom County come from other WA counties. One Census source ( summed up the latest Whatcom County migration like this:

Whatcom County, Washington ACS (American Community Survey) Data 2014:2018

  • Population (1 yr and over): 214,635 # Whatcom County population 2018
  • Movers from a different state: 6,127
  • Movers to a different state: 4,210
  • Movers from a different county, same state: 8,804
  • Movers to a different county, same state: 6,237
  • Movers from abroad:1224 

I posted some screen shots from some of my data exploration here. This would actually be  a difficult analysis that would benefit from some granularity. This is yearly inbound information  for Whatcom County from the Census American Community Survey. Click to enlarge the pictures

There are a number of different reasons why people to move to Whatcom County. But I have found ex-Californians like myself relatively rare to find in practice. I am much more likely to meet someone from Seattle than San Francisco. As we all know, there is no real reason not transport yourself here if August is your only view of this place. But we are still a remote northern colony perched up on the last corner of I-5.  We worry about low Vitamin D levels, Coal Trains, and Avalanche Chutes during a bad winter. We were three layers and rain gear alot. We have pasty skin and a downtown that alternates between great beer and bakeries amid effusive spreading tents of the homeless. Californians may be less likely to end up here than you might think.

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