The fact is Texas led the nation in net population growth for the past decade, while New York and California led the nation in net population loss. Interestingly, the most new Texans (over 550,000) came from one state- California. They brought with them a remarkable $14.3 billion in income, but even that paled to the almost $1 trillion in assets and income that re-located New Yorkers brought to the Lone Star State.
From 2000 to 2010 a staggering 3.4 million people moved out of New York resulting in a net loss of 1.3 million residents. California was a close second with a net population loss of 1.2 million during the same decade.
So why is everyone running for their lives from New York and California? And why are so many of them heading to Texas? The answer is taxes, regulations, and quality of life. Americans have figured out that high taxes and excessive regulations kill jobs and quality of life. People simply want to have more opportunity for success and keep more of the money they work so hard to earn.
It’s no coincidence that New York has ranked first or second in the nation for tax burden every year since 1977. That includes state income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. There is also gas tax of a whopping 49 cents per gallon, and the highest estate and gift taxes in the nation. After grabbing more of your money than any state while you’re alive, New York also steals more of your money after you’re dead. I should know- I left New York 25 years ago and never looked back.
California now ranks first (ie worst) for highest state income tax. Add to that the mantle of worst state in the nation for excessive rules and regulations. It’s no wonder the Milken Institute ranks California as having the worst business environment in the nation. I should know- I left California too.
Lest you think this is some kind of fluke, or that taxes are not the determining factor in this “escape from NY and California,” it isn’t just Texas that is gaining all these fleeing residents. The U.S. Census reported that all of the top 15 states for population growth during the past decade are no tax or low tax states like Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It seems Americans are smarter than politicians give them credit for- they are voting with their feet for lower taxes, pro business attitude, and more economic freedom.