Another year is in the books, which means there’s another year of data to analyze, too. And the Tax Foundation just published an interesting analysis shedding light on which states gained the most population in 2022—and which ones saw residents leave in droves.
The analysis examined the time period between July 2021 and July 2022 and found overall US population growth was at 0.4%, but some states’ populations shrank while others grew. As it turns out, the state that gained the most population was Florida, which saw 1.9% population growth.
Other states that gained 1% population include Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, South Dakota, Montana, Delaware, Arizona, North Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, and Nevada.
Meanwhile, the 5 states that lost the most population were:
- New York (-0.9%)
- Illinois (-0.8%)
- Louisiana (-0.8%)
- West Virginia (-0.6%)
- Hawaii (-0.5%)
Americans were on the move in 2022 and chose low-tax states over high-tax ones. That’s the finding of recent U.S. Census Bureau population data and commercial datasets released this week by U-Haul and United Van Lines.https://t.co/TUAbsCT4iR @janellefritts pic.twitter.com/MDO9Zb5NJY
— Tax Foundation (@TaxFoundation) January 10, 2023
Noticing any trends yet?
Generally speaking, the states losing population are blue states with high taxes and heavily restricted economies. On the other hand, the booming states, like Florida, South Carolina, and Texas, are red states with lower tax burdens and less-regulated economies. That’s just speculation, but it’s borne out in the data.
“People move for many reasons,” the Tax Foundation explains. “Sometimes taxes are expressly part of the calculation. Often, they play an indirect role (by contributing to a broadly favorable economic environment). And other times, of course, they don’t factor in at all. The Census data and these industry studies cannot tell us exactly why each person moved, but there is no denying a very strong correlation between low-tax, low-cost states and population growth.”
It really is becoming so glaring that even New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently admitted their state needs to address its population drain—months after telling Republicans to “get out.”
If you tell people to leave, they will.
If you over-regulate them and overtax them, they will leave faster.
— Jim Stinson (@jimstinson) January 2, 2023
It’s interesting that some other states with Democratic leadership, like Colorado, didn’t see population declines. Then again, they have a relatively low tax burden and a moderate, fiscally responsible Governor in Jared Polis.
So, if blue states want to stop the population drain, they simply need to stop taxing and regulating their economies into a coma—and then acting surprised when people head for freer pastures.