Migration Data and Information

Migration data for Alaska come from three main sources: Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend applications, IRS Tax Statistics, and the American Community Survey. Each source has its own strengths and weaknesses.

To view the official estimates of annual migration for Alaska, and net migration for its regions, boroughs, and census areas, go to our Population Estimates page and see “Components of Change.”


Alaska Economic Trends articles about migration

PFD-Based Migration Data

Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD)-based migration data have broad in-state coverage but lag on new migrants from outside the state, because new migrants aren’t eligible for the PFD until they’ve lived in Alaska for one calendar year. Additionally, 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 Data page.


IRS-Based Migration 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 80 percent of Alaska’s population, and values below 10 are suppressed. More information about these data are available on the IRS's Migration Data website.


ACS-Based Migration (“Geographic Mobility”) Data

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data provides information about migrants. However, ACS is based on a small sample of the population and tends to have large margins of error. For most areas in Alaska, ACS data is 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.


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