What states are people moving to? Economists would say that you can learn a lot from people “voting with their feet.” They leave states for many reasons: economic opportunity, lower taxes, weather, cost of living etc.
The 2009 Allied Van Lines 42nd Annual Magnet States Report is an useful report in understanding where people are moving to. There are some changes from last year that would suggest the economy has influenced people’s moving decisions.
Texas was the Best State to Move To in 2009. It had the most net people moves in the US, over three times more than any other state. It was also the most popular state to move to in 2008. Arizona and North Carolina, which was ranked 2 in 2008, were also popular states to move to. They were very close in net moves being separated by only 2 moves according to Allied Van Lines.
According to the annual magnet report, the Best States to Move To in 2009 were Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado and Florida.
The Worst States to Move To in 2009 were Michigan, Illinois,Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. New York is also an unpopular state to move to. Both Illinois and New York have now lost population, according to the Allied study, for 33 straight years!! California lost people in 2009. Its 12.4% unemployment rate may have had something to do with this exodus. See also Taxpayers Leave New York and People Choose Best States to Live with their Feet
It should also be noted that this survey is not a definitive migration study. Florida, for example according to the Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research, lost population in 2009 for the first time in 63 years. This is at odds with the Allied stats. See
Political leaders in states where people are leaving should take note. When people leave a state, something is not working for them in that state.
The Empire Center for New York State Policy released a quality report on Empire State Exodus
The report provides enlightening data on the migration patterns in NY and its implications for policy makers. It should concern NY policy makers.
We have regularly reported on the negative impact of high income taxes on creating a Best State. See New York Jobs: Will they come back?
According to the Empire Center report, New York experienced the nation’s largest loss of residents to other states—a net domestic migration outflow of over 1.5 million, or 8 percent of its population at the start of the decade.This follows a 1.7 million loss in the 1990’s. Taxpayers are leaving New York. High income taxpayers, in particular, are leaving.
The States that benefited from New York’s migration losses were Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Florida gained over 314,000 taxpayers from NY representing a staggering $9.1 billion of tax base. It has no state income tax. New Jersey gained 167,067 taxpayers and $5.7 billion of tax base. North Carolina gained 82,169 and $1.85 billion. Connecticut gained 51,455 and $2.77 billion. Pennsylvania gained 88,961 and $1.52 billion. New York has lost over $29 billion in tax base in the 2000’s alone.
Tax policy for states must be established with a view of what other options people have. People have choices within the US as well as other countries regarding where to live and be taxed. People are voting with their feet in NY. They prefer lower tax rates. The chart below on New York Net Domestic Migration by Year is from the study. New York has lost almost 1 million people in the 2000’s to other states.
New York politicians continue to raise taxes and are taxing a shrinking base. See States are Raising taxes
New York State is in a negative cycle downward. At some point it might look to draw more people in by lowering its rates. Unfortunately until it does so, people will keep leaving. The entire listing of taxpayer migration by state to (from) New York is listed below courtesy of the Empire Center for New York State Policy.