You have watched since 2020 as Americans increasingly fled big blue states in search of a better America in places like Florida and Texas. Now, alarm bells are beginning to ring in blue states as the number of residents and tax dollars are threatened. An editorial in the local Massachusetts newspaper, the Lowell Sun, gives readers an idea of the peril the state faces. The editors write:
While Massachusetts has many strengths — including world renowned universities, medical facilities and a vibrant life sciences sector — policymakers here face serious challenges.
Changes to the state’s population have become a key metric in debate around some of the most pressing public policy topics on Beacon Hill, including the state’s tax code, chronic housing affordability and inventory issues, the reliability of public transportation systems, and access to affordable child care.
While the Legislature passed a watered-down tax-reduction bill from the one sought by the governor last year, that didn’t satisfy the state’s fiscal watchdogs or the overall business community.
“Massachusetts State House leaders need to take note of the reason why taxpayers are fleeing our state. The number one priority of 2024 should be economic competitiveness and this new report shows that,” said Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney.
In contrast, the U.S. Census Bureau delivered a slightly more upbeat message last month, reporting that Massachusetts was one of 11 states that saw its population bounce back and grow from July 2022 to July 2023 after posting a 2021-2022 decline.
That recent increase upped the state’s estimated population to 7,001,399 — a 18,659, .027%, gain.
Massachusetts experienced a net outflow of 39,149 people to other states and a net inflow of 50,647 people from other countries — resulting in a net positive total migration of 11,498 people.
Over that same time, 6,983 more people were born than died, helping to bump the Census Bureau’s population estimate for the Bay State up that 7,001,399 figure.
That miniscule improvement must be taken in context, since according to the U.S. Census, 41 other states also expanded their populations in 2023, the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that many states gained population.
Massachusetts’ growth lagged the leaders both in terms of raw population growth — Texas added 473,453 people, followed by Florida with an addition of 365,205 — and percentage growth. South Carolina and Florida were the two fastest-growing states in the country, expanding by 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively.
Our state’s growth rate also trailed behind the nation as a whole. The Census Bureau estimated that the country gained more than 1.6 million people over the past year, growing by a “historically low” 0.5% rate to a population of 334,914,895.
That “historically low” national rate is still nearly twice that of Massachusetts.
Action Line: If you’re looking for a better America, begin your search with Your Survival Guy’s 2023 Super States, and be sure to click here to sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter to be among the first to receive my 2024 Super States update.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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