Why is it some states continue to attract new residents, while others, year after year, lose residents? While people move for many reasons, there is a strong, positive relationship between a state’s economic competitiveness and its projected likelihood to gain residents.
This relationship indicates how states experiencing higher population growth are generally the same states with lower tax and regulatory burdens, lower government debt and greater transparency and accountability for government spending.
Big winners in net domestic migration in the past year include: Florida (+132,602), Arizona (+83,240) and Texas (+82,569). On the losing end we find: New York (-180,306), California (-156,068) and Illinois (-114,154).
This domestic migration pattern of the past year paints a stark picture. Each of the high in-migration states mentioned above enjoy a ranking of sixth, fifth and 14th respectively in the Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.
By contrast, each of the high out-migration states have an economic outlook ranking of 50th, 47th and 48th, respectively.
People continue to vote with their feet, and they prefer low-tax states to high-tax states.
North Carolina continues to be among the top ten states in terms of net in-migration, buoyed no doubt by a tax climate made far more competitive by the historic 2013 tax reforms and subsequent tax cuts.
Such population changes also have a political impact. Growing states like NC will add seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, while shrinking states like New York and California will lose seats.