LA State-to-State Outmigration, “Natural Increase” Continue Decline


by Elliott Stonecipher

A release of data this morning from the U. S. Census Bureau confirms that Louisiana’s population outmigration between the states declined again during the latest reporting year, as did its margin of births-minus-deaths.  Between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, Louisiana lost -2,492 residents, net, to residential moves to other states, a decline more than double the net loss of -1,243 residents in the previous one-year period.  During that same period, the state’s margin of births-minus-deaths was 19,701, a drop of -1,774 in that key measurement during the previous reporting year. FULL_SIZE TABLE HERELA Migration and Natural Increase 2002-2013

The top-line population figures for the latest reporting period are detailed in an article I wrote on the subject last month, posted then on the independent blog, Forward-Now.

As was the case in the previous reporting year, the international migration figure for the state showed a net gain of 6,695 “residents.”  When included, that figure raises the state’s “total migration” number to 4,203.  The count, however, is frequently disputed given the Census Bureau’s methodology in measuring both the residents of Mexico, and military personnel returning to the states from deployments overseas, notably the draw-downs in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere as reported by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC).  (Louisiana’s international migration gain spiked, nearly doubling, in the two most recent years.  More detail concerning these methodologies is included below.)

The domestic, state-to-state migration data is gathered from relatively hard-count reports of births and deaths, and the Census Bureau’s tally of net moves between the states as tracked with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return records.

As seen in the attached spreadsheet, Louisiana’s total population gain from July 1, 2002 to July 1, 2012, eleven reporting years, now stands at 47,548, an average of 4,323 per year, or less than one-tenth-of-one-percent of our state’s 4,625,470 residents.  In reporting year July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006, during which Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana, -241,201 residents, net, left the state.  The state-to-state migration gain for Louisiana in the six reporting years since the hurricanes (July 1, 2006 through July 1, 2013) now totals 55,700, a net loss of -185,501 residents.

Declining “Natural Increase”

As I have highlighted in other of the articles on this subject, of concern to Louisiana policy makers should be (but is not) a possible trend of annual declines in the margin in births-minus-deaths.  It is this margin which in so many years in Louisiana since the 1980s has covered the net population loss due to outmigration, a loss of over 600,000 Louisianans during the past three decades.  As shown in the attached spreadsheet, Louisiana’s margin of births-minus-deaths was 27,220 in the July 1, 2002 through July 1, 2003 reporting year, but has dropped 28% since then, to 19,701.  In the year following the storms, this key population metric rebounded from a July 1, 2006 to July 1, 2007 low of 18,768 to a next-year count of 23,092 (July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008), but has dropped 15% since then.

Elliott Stonecipher

Elliott Stonecipher’s reports and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted.  Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is requested and apprecia

Census Bureau Population Estimates Methodology


We estimate international migration in several parts: immigration of the foreign born, emigration of the foreign born, net migration between the United States and Puerto Rico, net migration of natives to and from the United States, and net movement of the Armed Forces population to and from the United States.

Immigration of the foreign born is estimated separately for Mexico and “All other countries” using the ACS question on residence one year ago. The foreign-born household population who indicated that they lived in Mexico in the prior year are considered immigrants from Mexico and the foreign-born household population who indicated that they lived abroad but not in Mexico are immigrants from “All other countries.” The number of foreign-born migrants who entered the United States between April 2010 and June 2010, for both Mexico and “All other countries,” is estimated as one quarter of the foreign-born household population in the 2010 ACS who reportedliving abroad one year ago.

We derive the estimate of the net overseas movement of the Armed Forces population from data collected by DMDC. DMDC provides monthly tabulations of military personnel stationed or deployed outside the United States

by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and individual branches of service within the Department of Defense. We assume that change in the overseas military population, excluding deaths, indicates movement of personnel in and out of the United States.  To derive the estimates of net movement in certain counties, we apply the demographic and geographic distributions of the military population from ACS to DMDC total estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin