Mystery Solved... Kind Of

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 7, 2006 - 7:22pm

The plot thickens. Or maybe it... thinnens. I don't know. The point is that the folks at the San Diego Chamber of Commerce have gotten to the bottom of our recent mystery about why their population data differed so much from that of the Census Bureau. Yet their answer has only raised another question.

The Chamber's Rachel Laing elaborates:

The mystery of the difference in the migration data on the Chamber's Web site and the U.S. Census bureau appears to have been solved. Kelly Cunningham, who headed the ERB for years before leaving in early 2005, helped us sort all of this out.

To sum it up, the Chamber uses California Department of Finance data, because the state agency is assumed to have better ability to track and estimate the state's population changes. They also release their estimates in a more timely fashion -- months ahead of the Census Bureau. SANDAG also uses DoF data over the Census Bureau data in its planning.


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Submitted by jg on September 7, 2006 - 8:20pm.

Keep at it, Rich! It would be useful to have an indicator of migration months before the Census data, but only if it's accurate.

Submitted by powayseller on September 7, 2006 - 10:04pm.

Rich, I've been wondering for months now, about the numbers given by the Finance Dept. Where do they get it, how is it measured, and ultimately why does it end up different from the Census? What is the most current out migration data? The Census data ends in the year ending June 05; has migration picked up since then?

Submitted by underdose on September 14, 2006 - 12:23am.

There is a third, unofficial, indication of migration. U-haul prices! I haven't checked in a while (I tried now but their site was down), but when I out-migrated to Portland, OR, to rent a truck one-way to Oregon from San Diego was about $1500. To rent one one-way the other direction was $250. They would practically pay you to take a truck back to California for them. The moving companies (like United, Allied, etc.) gaves us similar stories. The Census bureau's numbers are more consistent with anecdotal evidence and the supply/demand-driven prices of non-speculative goods and services (things other than houses).

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