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Snohomish County

More about those who move here

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Having worked as a data specialist for nine years and crunched numbers for over 40 years, I really enjoyed your catchy U.S. map and well-presented data regarding "Drivers from elsewhere" in Sunday's "Need to Know" feature. The article presented new Washington drivers license totals for 2008-2012, based upon which state the drivers "immigrated" from - to end-up in Snohomish county. The article showed that California had the most "immigrants" to Snohomish County (10,747), while Washington, D.C., the least (50).
I decided to normalize the Washington drivers data, by first using 2010 Census data (courtesy, and then dividing the article's numbers (for each state) by each state's 2010 population -- to determine which states contributed the highest and lowest percentages of their population to Snohomish County. I double-checked all data and calculations. I found that Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and Montana ranked 1-5 as the "immigrants" most-likely to move to Snohomish County -- per capita, while West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky residents were least likely to head our way (and get a license).
According to my calculations, and the data provided, Alaskans are 40 times more likely to get a drivers license in Snohomish County than West Virginians. Apparently, people from West Virginia have little reason to head our way. It's not surprising that residents from the states closest to us want to move and drive here, especially Alaskans, since the Seattle metropolitan area has long been a gateway to Alaska. More puzzling is why New Jersey and New York send such meager portions of their populations our way (each at .0047 percent), while further-away North Carolina and Florida normalized percentages are significantly higher (each at .0151 percent). I imagine some New Yorkers don't drive, since they were subway riders, and perhaps military or civilian job opportunities inflated the numbers for North Carolina and Florida. I'm sure much more analysis could be done.
Thanks again for the great article!
Stephen Fry

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