The Oregon Employment Department today released new census data on movement in and out of Oregon, both by occupation and by location, i.e. where people are coming to Oregon from and where those who are leaving the state go.

Oregon is an in-migration state—we attract more people than we lose. That's generally good for the economy because it helps increase economic activity and build a larger tax base.

"Population growth fuels the expansion of our cities and brings new brain power to foster the economic engine of Oregon's future," writes Employment Department economist Jessica Nelson. (On the not so good side: in-migration also increases housing prices and traffic.)

Nelson compiled statistics for the states that have the largest population flows in and out of Oregon. Not surprisingly, California, which has a population nearly 10 ten times that of Oregon, dominates the flow. What's a little surprising is that the state that is the second largest net contributor to Oregon's population growth is Hawaii. (Net in-migration means that more people moved to Oregon from a particular state than left Oregon for that state.)

Over the past five years for which the Census Bureau has data, an average of 2,265 Hawaiians have moved here. Hawaii is a small state: its population of 1.4 million is about one-third of Oregon's population.

The data suggest that the vintage Oregon license plates which say simply "Pacific Wonderland" have it right.