Red states Texas, Florida crush blue New York, California and Illinois when it comes to 2022 population growth – A Wirepoints 50-state survey
December 23, 2022 By; Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner The difference couldn’t be more stark between the biggest states in the nation.The red states of Texas and Florida grew their populations by more than 400,000 in 2022. Their pro-growth, pro-business, pro-taxpayer policies remain a magnet for both Americans and foreigners alike. In contrast, blue states New York, California and Illinois each had their populations fall by 100,000 or more in 2022. Americans continue to flee those same three states, year after year. These findings are based on a Wirepoints’ analysis of the latest 2022 population estimates provided by the U.S. Census Bureau on December 22. The bureau performs a population estimate each year in addition to its full decennial census count at the end of each decade.
This redistribution of people among the nation’s biggest states matters for a host of reasons. Florida and Texas are winning the battle for people and their wealth, and that’s key to future growth and prosperity.
It’s also key to expanding political influence. Florida and Texas both gained representation in Congress as a result of the 2020 Census, while California, Illinois and New York all lost. And the outflow of people from the blue states may be, in part, a rejection of the draconian pandemic policies those states enforced on their populations.Changes in population also help reveal Americans’ policy preferences. The fact that the nation’s largest blue states are shrinking and red states are growing matters because three of those state’s governors, ILLINOIS’ PRITZKER, California’s Newsom and Florida’s DeSantis, may vie for the presidency.
Growing, shrinking statesTexas and Florida shared the title for the fastest-growing state in 2022. Texas won in terms of sheer numbers, growing its population by 470,708. With a 2022 population of 30,029,572, Texas is now the second state in the nation to have a population above 30 million. Florida was the nation’s runner-up, with an increase of 416,754. Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia rounded out the top five with population gains of 133,088, 124,847, and 94,320 respectively. New York, like last year, was the nation’s big loser with a population decline of 180,341 in 2022. California was next with a loss of 113,649 people. Illinois, Pennsylvania and Louisiana rounded out the top five losers with population declines of 104,437, 40,051 and 36,857 respectively.Florida was the nation’s biggest winner on a percentage basis. The Sunshine State’s population grew by 1.9% in 2022. Idaho was the runner-up, with a population increase of 1.8%. Next was South Carolina with a 1.7% increase,Texas up 1.6% and South Dakota with a 1.5% increase. In contrast, New York was again the big loser with a population decline of 0.9% and Illinois came in second with a population loss of more than 0.8%. Rounding out the bottom five losers were Louisiana with a loss of 0.8%, West Virginia with 0.6% and Hawaii with a 0.5% decline.
Domestic migration causes growth, declinesThe single biggest source for population changes among the 50 states continues to be domestic migration – the natural movement of Americans between states. Net domestic migration is the number of people who move into a state minus those who move out. Neither natural increase (births minus deaths) nor international migration come close to the same impact as net domestic migration. Florida remained the most popular destination in 2022, with a net 319,000 people deciding to make the Sunshine state their home. Texas was next, with a net migration of nearly 231,000 Americans.On the flip side, a net 343,000 people decided they couldn’t stomach California anymore – the worst level of out-migration in the country. New York and Illinois were the runners-up, with losses of nearly 300,000 and 142,000 people, respectively.
Demographic differencesThere is an interesting amount of variety in why certain states grew or shrank in 2022.Texas, for example, grew the most in the nation due to positive numbers in every demographic component. Births outpaced deaths, creating a significant net natural increase (+118,159). That, coupled with international (+118,614) and domestic (+230,961) in-migration, is what allowed Texas to grow so much. Florida, on the other hand, had deaths outnumber births in 2020, resulting in a negative natural increase (-40,216). But the state more than made up for that decline with the nation’s largest net domestic migration (+318,855) and the 2nd-largest international migration (+125,629).On the flip side, neither California’s positive net natural increase (+106,155) nor its best-in-nation international migration (+125,715) made up for its worst-in-nation domestic out-migration (-343,230).
In Illinois, a positive net natural increase and net international migration were able to mask the state’s constant, growing domestic out-migration for years.
No longer. The state’s tiny natural increase (+4,866), low levels of international migration (+31,529) and record domestic out-migration (-141,656) led to a record population decline of 104,000 in 2022.
Another round of winners and losersVoting at the ballot box is certainly a way to bring about change. But as the numbers above show, so, too, is voting with your feet. Texas and Florida didn’t just win the war for people and their wealth in 2022, their victories have been going on for a decade and more. Texas and Florida were ranked 1 and 2 in population growth over the 2010-2020 period, with increases of 4 million and 2.8 million, respectively. That’s a growth of about 15% each. Structurally, that gives these states a huge advantage in the battle over both investment and political influence. In contrast, states like Illinois are seeing their populations shrink. Every person that leaves is another blow to those states’ future prosperity.You can’t help but wonder what impact these population numbers will have on the next presidential election – and what they mean for the prospects of the governors who end up running.