Alaskans Migrating Out Increases to 25-Year High

Alaskans Migrating Out Increases to 25-Year High

Net migration out of Alaska was higher last year than at any point in the past quarter-century, according to a report released Friday by the Alaska Department of Labor.

The report in Alaska Economic Trends stated that about 7,500 more people moved out of the state than came here in fiscal 2014. It’s the highest number of net departures Alaska has seen since 1987, when 19,245 people left amid a crushing in-state recession.

The most recent numbers, however, don’t appear to have much to do with Alaska’s statewide financial woes, said Department of Labor economist Neal Fried.

Instead, Fried attributed at least some of the pattern to improving employment opportunities in the Lower 48. People have historically come to Alaska when jobs are scarce in the rest of the U.S., and many leave when they’re easy to find elsewhere, he said.

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Alaska migration trends:

1970 — +8,040

1971 — +5,107

1972 — +4,533

1973 — +1,287

1974 — +6,320

1975 — +30,222

1976 — +19,576

1977 — +1,637

1978 — -13,414

1979 — -5,289

1980 — -1,629

1981 — +6,326

1982 — +20,992

1983 — +24,934

1984 — +14,526

1985 — +9,206

1986 — -3,646

1987 — -19,245

1988 — -15,710

1989 — -5,480

1990 — +4,637

1991 — +6,310

1992 — +8,138

1993 — +1,314

1994 — -4,840

1995 — -6,980

1996 — -3,741

1997 — -3,001

1998 — +145

1999 — -2,337

2000 — -927

2001 — -2,676

2002 — +2,196

2003 — +819

2004 — +2,948

2005 — +292

2006 — -56

2007 — -2,023

2008 — -1,111

2009 — +3,009

2010 — +8,347

2011 — +1,131

2012 — +1,113

2013 — -2,870

2014 — -7,488

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

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