The latest census data hit the streets last week, and as our friends at The San DiegoUnion-Tribune noted, the Census Bureau claims that during the year ending July 2006 far more people moved out of San Diego than moved in.

The census folks indicate that domestic migration, which measures movement between the states, weighed in at a loss of 42,034 former San Diegans. More foreigners moved into San Diego than left, however, raising the overall migration figure to a loss of 22,724 people. Enough babies were born on top of that to raise the overall population by a positive 4,845 San Diegans.

Last year, I did a story on the conflicting data provided by the Census Bureau and California’s Department of Finance, a fellow population-measuring agency. For those who don’t want to click the prior link, the executive summary is that the Census Bureau is thought by many economist-types to underestimate in-migration and thus population growth.

Interestingly, that disparity narrowed in 2006, if only by a little. The graph to the right shows the percent change in population as measured by the Census Bureau and the DOF, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics change in labor force size thrown in for good measure. The DOF showed an identical rise in 2006 as in 2005, while the Census Bureau measured a larger rise in 2006 than in 2005. The latter agency also revised their 2005 number upward and just out of the negative territory where it had formerly dwelt.

Head counting is clearly an inexact science. At least the agencies are all in agreement that San Diego has seen positive, if somewhat meager, population growth.


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