by Brian Balfour
Senior Vice President of Research, John Locke Foundation
New analysis from the Tax Foundation finds that – surprise! – high-tax states lost population while low-tax states gained residents.
Big population losers last year included who you’d probably expect: New York, Illinois and California. Meanwhile, the states with the largest population gains included Florida, Texas, Utah, with North Carolina rounding out the top ten.
“Six states in the top third forgo individual income taxes (Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Dakota) and the highest top rate is Maine’s 7.15 percent. Among the bottom third, four jurisdictions—California, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia—have double-digit income tax rates,” the article notes.
Data from moving companies U-Haul and United Van Lines backs up these trends. “Both companies see states like California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York as the biggest losers, while states like Texas, Florida, and Tennessee are among the largest net gainers,” according to the Tax Foundation analysis.
Of course, taxes aren’t the only reason people move, and may not be one of the top reasons they do, “but there is no denying a very strong correlation between low-tax, low-cost states and population growth,” the article concludes.