Florida: America’s ‘New Colossus’

The Wall Street Journal recently published the below graph showing Florida as the going away migration winner of recent years (left-side chart) with the pace accelerating in the second year of the pandemic. California, New York and Illinois meanwhile have been losing income at an accelerating rate.

When the 2022 data comes out, it seems likely to produce more of the same based on the population trend data from July 2021 to July 2022:

Dark green on this map, signifying a net domestic and foreign migration gain of greater than 50,000 people, concentrates in Arizona (93k), Texas (350k), Tennessee (90k), North Carolina (126k), South Carolina (95k), Georgia (109k). Florida however was the biggest winner of all, with a net migration gain of 444,000 people.

A growing population certainly brings challenges, but they are the kinds of problems you want to have. Florida produces superior public services to California, Illinois and New York at a much lower tax burden. Not surprisingly, people have noticed and have voted with their feet. Look for this trend to grow.

The famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads:

The Statue of Liberty has long welcomed migrants to the United States, but it no longer seems appropriate to have her torch lifted in a state that Americans increasingly seek to flee. Perhaps a move south would be in order.

Florida is America’s New Colossus.

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BY Matthew Ladner

Matthew Ladner is executive editor of NextSteps. He has written numerous studies on school choice, charter schools and special education reform, and his articles have appeared in Education Next; the Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice; and the British Journal of Political Science. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a master's degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and three children.


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