University of Pittsburgh
December 7, 2011

Pitt Migration Report Shows an Influx to the Pittsburgh Area

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PITTSBURGH—More people moved into the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area than those who moved out in 2009 and 2010, according to a study done at the University of Pittsburgh. Using statistical data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) at Pitt compiled a migration trends report released today that showcases Pittsburgh’s second successive year in yielding a positive net migration.

“This turnaround and moderate migration into the region is consistent with our long-range forecasts for this economy,” said Chris Briem, UCSUR regional economist. “Pittsburgh has fared much better through the recent recession than it has in past economic downturns.”

Briem noted that by some measures Pittsburgh’s labor force is doing better than the labor force nationally.

“The Pittsburgh region’s unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate for five straight years. It’s likely some folks are looking to Pittsburgh for job market opportunities that don’t exist elsewhere,” Briem added.

Those individuals potentially looking for work hail from such cities as Philadelphia, New York City, and Indiana, Pa. 

The IRS migration data use administrative records such as income tax returns to produce statistics on the movement of people between counties and across the nation. The IRS does not release any data on individual taxpayers. To adjust for family size, the IRS uses the number of exemptions claimed on a tax return. 

The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area spans seven counties, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland. 

To view the full-text report, visit




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