New York Times Shows Americans Moving to Conservative States
Why Are Millions Leaving Liberal States?
(Washington, D.C.) – According to an analysis of Census data by the New York Times, more and more Americans born in traditionally liberal states ("blue states") have moved to more conservative ones ("red states") in recent decades. The Times found that since the year 2000, the number of people born in more liberal states but residing in conservative states increased by almost a quarter. These migrants from blue states now make up about 12 percent of the population of the red states. Over the same time period, the number of people born in conservative states who had moved to liberal states actually fell.
The Times notes the cost of living in red states tends to be lower than in blue states, but does not otherwise attempt to explain why millions are "voting with their feet" to live in conservative states. But an analysis of economic data may provide a better explanation, particularly for Hispanics. In red states like Texas and North Carolina, the number of employed Hispanics has jumped considerably when compared to blue states like New York and California. In fact, since 2000, North Carolina has seen the number of employed Hispanics more than double, while New York saw an increase over the same period of less than a third. Another study on state migration found that four of the top 10 population-gaining states have no personal income tax, suggesting that migrants care a lot about whether or not a state has a personal income tax and that higher taxes may actually cause states to lose population. Another recently-released report finds that many of the states rated most highly for economic performance since the year 2000 tend to be red states. The top 5, according to this study, are Utah, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, and Indiana. Another economic success story – Texas – finishes in the top 15. Texas's economic performance is notable because it has contributed dramatically to the improvement in the national economy. For example, since 2007, civilian employment in Texas has grown by 1.3 million. It has fallen by about 1.2 million in the rest of the United States. By this measure, Texas has accounted for all net civilian employment growth in the country over the last 7 years.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Americans are voting with their feet. In historic numbers, they have been leaving states with a history of liberal policies and moving to those with conservative governments. Many find economic opportunity, better jobs, lower taxes, a lower cost of living, and governments that are more likely to protect their rights.
Elected officials can and should take a lesson. People who leave blue states for red states are doing so for a reason. It's time to consider how government policies encourage Americans to move from one state to another, before the last blue state holdouts head to more promising territory."