Population Movements and Economic Freedom

The New York Times today reports on the latest release on population trends from the Census Bureau:

Measured by rate of growth, Arizona was first, followed by Nevada, Idaho, Georgia and Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida and South Carolina. For 2005-6, Colorado and South Carolina displaced Delaware and Oregon. Arizona’s estimated population grew by 213,311 to 6.2 million, an increase of 3.6 percent. Most of the increase was driven by more people moving in from other states than leaving — most from California. But immigrants also contributed to the growth, as did more than twice as many births as deaths. (By comparison, in West Virginia, deaths outnumbered births.)

Despite the exodus of population from high-tax California, the West leads the nation in population growth. But how does New Mexico fit into the picture? Estimates for all states may be found here. New Mexico and the region look like this:
05 to 06 pop growth.jpg
One year is not long enough to discern a clear trend. Nevertheless this one-year change is consistent with New Mexico’s prior, consistently poor standing for migration trends. People tend to move where they face a brighter future; and New Mexico is not the destination of choice in the West. Only another high-tax state (Oklahoma) does worse than NM in the region.

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