Migration Data and Information
Migration data for Alaska come from three main sources, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This means that each source is an indicator of migration, but none provides a complete system to directly track it.
To view the official estimates of annual net migration for Alaska and its regions, boroughs, and census areas, go to our Population Estimates page and see “Components of Change.”
Alaska Economic Trends Articles About Migration
- March 2013: Home-Grown Workers, Comparing those who lived here as kids to those who didn’t
- April 2012: Alaska’s Highly Migratory Population, Annual Moves to, from, and across the state
- February 2010: Anchorage Migration, The movement between Alaska’s major Native areas and Anchorage
- June 2009: The U.S. Economy and Alaska Migration, A historical connection between the two
- July 2004: Migration, Alaska is a state of migrants; only 38.1 percent were born here
PFD-Based Migration Indicator Data
Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) based migration data have broad in-state coverage but lag on new migrants from outside the state, because they aren’t eligible for the PFD until they’ve lived in Alaska for one calendar year. Similarly, PFD data do not capture people who don’t live here long enough to qualify for a PFD. Maps of these data are available on our Maps & GIS page.
- PFD-Based Migration between Boroughs/Census Areas, 2000-2012 (Excel)
- PFD-Based Migration between Boroughs/Census Areas, 2000-2012 (Interactive)
IRS-Based Migration Indicator Data
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based migration data provide direct counts of moves between U.S. counties, boroughs, and census areas by comparing the addresses of exemptions — that is, filers and their dependents — from year to year. However, they only cover about 85 percent of Alaska’s population, with particularly low coverage in low income areas, and values below 10 are suppressed.
- IRS-Based Migration To and From Alaska by State, 2000-2010 (Excel)
- IRS-Based Migration between Boroughs/Census Areas, 2000-2010 (Excel)
ACS-Based Migration (“Geographic Mobility”) Data
The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) based migration data provide population characteristics such as age, sex, race, income, and education. However, ACS is based on a very small sample of the population and tends to have large margins of error. For most areas in Alaska it’s only available in five-year averages. ACS data are available on our ACS page, U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Geographic Mobility/Migration page.