Shifting Demographics in Swan Valley, Montana

jedd sankar-gorton, University of Montana, Missoula

Abstract

In Swan Valley, a strong resource extraction based economy shifted to a service, education, and construction based economy in the last 30 years. Real estate values and median age have increased significantly. A divide exists between groups perceived as the more educated newcomers and the longtime residents who feel their autonomy is shrinking. There is a significant demographic shift going on in Swan Valley. One of the many trends associated with this is amenity migration, which is the movement of people in pursuit of cultural and natural amenities. What does that look like in the data though? Through the use of publicly available data collected through the Census and American Community Survey we can look quantitatively at these issues and find the fingerprint that this demographic shift has left on the community. An improved understanding of how these trends look in the data will allow better preparation for and response to it in the future, which should improve the likelihood of positive outcomes in the Rocky Mountain West.

 
Apr 27th, 1:05 PM Apr 27th, 1:20 PM

Shifting Demographics in Swan Valley, Montana

UC Ballroom, Pod #4

In Swan Valley, a strong resource extraction based economy shifted to a service, education, and construction based economy in the last 30 years. Real estate values and median age have increased significantly. A divide exists between groups perceived as the more educated newcomers and the longtime residents who feel their autonomy is shrinking. There is a significant demographic shift going on in Swan Valley. One of the many trends associated with this is amenity migration, which is the movement of people in pursuit of cultural and natural amenities. What does that look like in the data though? Through the use of publicly available data collected through the Census and American Community Survey we can look quantitatively at these issues and find the fingerprint that this demographic shift has left on the community. An improved understanding of how these trends look in the data will allow better preparation for and response to it in the future, which should improve the likelihood of positive outcomes in the Rocky Mountain West.