New York, California suffer biggest blow as more Americans flee to low-tax states

Migration to high-tax countries increases in 2022.

An increasing number of Americans moved from high-tax blue states like California and New York to low-tax red states like Florida and Texas last year, according to a Bank of America analyst note based on findings from US Census Bureau data and U-Haul rates.

Although the total US population grew by 0.4% between July 2021 and July 2022, the data highlights large differences in population growth at the state level.

The South, which has the lowest income taxes in the country, was the fastest growing region. Its population is growing faster than the national average, jumping about 1.1% – or about 1.4 million people last year – something described as “Sun Belt migration.” The region also benefited from about 870,000 Americans who left other parts of the country for warmer weather and lower taxes.

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A truck is seen in front of a U-Haul location on August 31, 2020, in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images/Getty Images)

By state, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina and Tennessee led the growth of immigration, according to the analyst’s article led by Rafe Jadrosich. Overall, Florida saw its population grow by 319,000, while Texas saw an increase of 231,000.

Neither Texas nor Florida has a state income tax.

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In total, six states in the top three to abandon the tax on salary income, according to a separate analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, a group that advocates low taxes. Florida, Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Nevada do not impose an individual income tax, as does Washington, which taxes capital gains but not income.

At the other end of the spectrum, California, New York and Illinois, which have the highest tax burdens in the country, saw the most people drop out in 2022.

U-Haul moving vans in Fort Collins on February 19, 2014. U-Haul is an American equipment rental company founded in 1945. People can hire trucks among other things and move their stuff.

“These demographic changes paint a stark picture,” said Janelle Fritts, a policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. “People are leaving high-tax, high-cost countries for low-tax, low-cost options.”

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Among the bottom third, five states — California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon — have double tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation.


About 343,000 Californians left the state last year, compared to about 300,000 New Yorkers. Illinois saw about 142,000 residents leave the state.

“Census data and these business studies can’t tell us exactly why each person migrated, but there’s no denying the strong connection between low taxes, low costs and population growth,” Fritts said. “With many states responding to strong revenues and heightened state competition by cutting taxes, these trends could be huge.”


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