Wendell Cox has released his latest look at which states Americans are moving to — and from. Using IRS data, which offer “probably the best approximation of domestic migration available,” the demographer found that from 2013 to 2014, Texas and Florida were still superstars. Low/no taxes and reasonable regulations continued to attract both residents and investments to the states. Where Big Government rules — e.g., New York, Illinois, New Jersey — populations and economies stagnated, or even withered.
Big states tend to be either big losers or big gainers in migration. So Cox’s most useful metric is the “state attraction ratio,” which divides “out-migration by in-migration (stated in out-migrants per 100 in-migrants).”
Sadly, New Mexico ranked eighth on the list of states people fled. The Land of Enchantment wasn’t as bad as New York or Illinois, but it ranked among consistent laggards such as Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. In its region, New Mexico was at rock-bottom. Four of its five neighbors attracted more residents than the drove out. (Surprisingly, Utah’s ratio fell just below 100.)
Great weather. Nice people. Fine food. Fascinating culture/history. A low cost of living. On the surface, at least, New Mexico should be a growth powerhouse. Yet it remains trapped in a seemingly never-ending economic mire. Isn’t it time for some significant policy course-corrections?