Census Data Shows Americans Fleeing Blue States For The Sun Belt

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population statistics Thursday showing massive growth for southern red states and significant losses for blue states like New York and California.

Overall the U.S. population increased by 1.2 million inhabitants from 2021 to 2022, according to the census report. Only the southern and western U.S. showed positive growth, with the South expanding by 1.1%, or 1,370,163 residents, and the western side of the country adding 153,601 residents. (RELATED: How Pollsters Created A ‘Red Mirage’ Before The Midterms)

Texas had the largest increase out of all 50 states with over 400,000 people coming to the Lone Star State. Florida, however, held the title of the fastest-growing state, according to the report.

“Florida was the fastest-growing state in 2022, with an annual population increase of 1.9%, resulting in a total resident population of 22,244,823,” the data showed. “It was also the second largest-gaining state behind Texas, with an increase of 416,754 residents.”

Blue states, however, suffered heavy losses during the past year, according to the report. New York lost over 180,000 residents in 2021-2022 and California and Illinois lost over 100,000 each.

ORLANDO, FL – NOVEMBER 07: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign rally at the Cheyenne Saloon on November 7, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

In May, the bureau released data showing similar downward trends for cities in blue states. New York City lost 3.5%, San Francisco 6.3%, and Chicago 1.6% between July 2020 and July 2021.

Job growth potentially played a role in the exodus from many states. In August, Republican states added 341,000 jobs with blue states falling short by 1.3 million jobs post-pandemic.

Births also increased over the past year with the positive natural change, or “births minus deaths,” equaling 245,080.

“There was a sizeable uptick in population growth last year compared to the prior year’s historically low increase,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau, said in the report. “A rebound in net international migration, coupled with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007, is behind this increase.”

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