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Realignment of America

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a commentary about the realignment of America. Now that we have some new census figures, I thought it might be time to write another commentary about the migration from blue states to red states. The issue is more complicated than what I describe here, so you might want to get a free copy of my Point of View booklet on the realignment of America.

The general trend is easy to see. The US population grew by 1.6 million between July 2022 and July 2023. Southern states accounted for 1.4 million of the growth. The five states leading the population boom were: Texas (473,453), Florida (365,205), Georgia (116,077), South Carolina (90,600), and Tennessee (77,512).

Eight states saw population declines. The top three states are: New York (-101,984), California (-75,423) and Illinois (-32,826). Much of the decline was due to migration from blue states to red states.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal provide an explanation for the flight from certain states. They explain that these states have many things in common: “High taxes, burdensome business regulation, and inflated energy and housing prices.”

They also focus on the interesting example of Washington state. In the past, I have pointed to its increasing population because it had no state income tax. But Washington state has now started losing population perhaps due to enacting a 7 percent capital gains rate on high earners. Another reason could be the increasing crime problem in Seattle.

Blue states also face an electoral problem. If this migration trend continues, six progressive states would lose 12 House seats in the 2030 reapportionment. Those congressional seats would go to Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, and Idaho.

The realignment of America continues because of the economic choices made by governors and legislatures in each state.viewpoints new web version

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