Blue States Vs Red States – Migration Data

By Naet

Policies coming out of Washington are driven by two competing governing philosophies and political parties, liberal/Democratic and conservative/Republican.  As the power of the White House and Congress shifts back and forth between the two parties, these two forms of governing shift with them.  As a result, it more difficult to gauge which one is superior.  One of the best ways to make this comparison is by comparing individual states.  Many states have been governed by Democrats or Republicans for decades.  This allows for these two competing philosophies to run unhindered and gives a much clearer picture as to which one benefits its citizens the most.

There are many different metrics to look at when trying to make a well-informed decision on the superiority of one over the other.  State taxes, regulatory environment, economic freedom and migratory patterns are several ways to do this.  People and businesses move for many reasons, but many move to another state that allows its citizens more freedoms, freedom from over burdensome taxation, over burdensome regulation and economic freedom.

Migration patterns of citizens from blue states to red states prove to be a great way to see which governing philosophy citizens and businesses are choosing to reside in.  When looking at migration data, it is important to look at net migration, inflows and outflows.

This migration data was compiled by the IRS using tax returns from each year.  The returns column is the number of tax returns.  Individual returns include dependent children and married couples typically file a joint return, therefore, returns are not an accurate reflection of population shifts.  Population shifts are more accurately reflected in the exemptions column.  The AGI, or Adjusted Gross Income, column is the income reported on the tax return.

Let’s take a look at population shifts of the blue states from January 1, 1993 through December 31, 2009.

State                   Net # Returns       Net # Exemptions                 AGI

  • California        -758,938            -2,361,380         -$51,096,272,000
  • Connecticut     -128,769            -193,487            -$8,718,233,000
  • Hawaii             -31,309             -117,759             -$941,311,000
  • Illinois             -412,843            -907,523            -$35,422,197,000
  • Iowa                -70,546             -61,849               -$4,234,323,000
  • Maryland         -34,809              -100,500             -$9,145,736,000
  • Massachusetts -173,596             -382,833            -$13,388,000,000
  • Michigan         -341,523             -525,137             -$19,467,918,000
  • Minnesota       -27,649               -9,801                 -$5,069,389,000
  • New Jersey      -309,739             -538,768             -$24,584,897,000
  • New York         -1,020,894          -2,300,356          -$79,476,288,000
  • Ohio                -31 2,980            -457,339             -$22,301,429,000
  • Pennsylvania   -205,847              -177,524             -$10,714,795,000
  • Rhode Island    -36,460               -69,408               -$2,028,850,000
  • Vermont          -6,102                 +537                   +$940,654,000
  • Wisconsin        -51,149                +17,810              -$2,756,250,000

Now let’s take a look at population shifts of the red states from January 1, 1993 through December 31, 2009.

State                     Net # Returns      Net # Exemptions                   AGI

  • Alabama          34,524                 125,248                $2,401,758,000
  • Arizona            462,493               875,792                $31,646,526,000
  • Arkansas          47,415                 131,876                $3,204,097,000
  • Florida             870,449               1,666,818              $105,217,875,000
  • Georgia            397,256               819,337                $16,109,729,000
  • Idaho               56,994                 151,379                $4,524,857,000
  • Kentucky          42,753                 118,389                $869,790,000
  • Missouri           31,546                 115,551                 $1,937,043,000
  • Montana          15,956                  47,258                  $2,731,003,000
  • Nevada            292,835                555,382                $20,708,285,000
  • North Carolina  440,809                872,546                $28,020,768,000
  • Oklahoma         8,910                   55,633                  $1,255,115,000
  • South Carolina  173,186                364,114                $15,655,912,000
  • Tennessee        198,908                431,783                $10,841,120,000
  • Texas               458,978               1,082,194              $26,166,688,000
  • Utah                19,337                  29,515                  $1,647,629,000
  • Virginia            117,946                197,294                 $1,660,623,000
  • West Virginia    5,547                    32,407                  $117,268,000
  • Wyoming          909                      12,607                   $1,740,531,000


RED STATES          3,676,751                    7,685,123                    $276,456,617,000

BLUE STATES       -3,923,153                   -8,185,317                   -$288,405,234,000

The data clearly shows that people are flocking to red states and fleeing the overreaching arm of the governments of blue states.  If the data was mixed, it would be difficult to claim that conservative governing was preferred and superior to liberal governing.  Instead of mixed data, the difference between red states and blue states are polar opposites. Unfortunately for those who espouse growing our federal government in both size and scope, millions of citizens have spoken by walking away from the states who espouse the same failed policies.

This is merely one data point to look at; we’ll take a look at the policies driving this mass migration of people later.  We ARE a Red Nation Rising and the destruction of liberal policies is wreaking havoc on citizens of the states who remain inside those bastions of ignorance.

A couple notes about the states above:

1. Iowa voted for Republican presidential candidates in all but five elections from the Civil War until 1988.  From 1988 through 2012, Iowa voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in six of the seven elections.

2. West Virginia was a solidly blue state, but swung Republican in 2000.  Since 200 WV has voted for the Republican candidate in all four elections and Republicans have continued to gain state level offices.  From 1993-2000 West Virginia was losing steam just like the blue states, but things turned around as soon as the state turned red, so the data for WV above runs from 2000-2009.

3. Florida has only voted for the Democratic presidential candidate four times in the last 40 years, Obama twice, Clinton in 1992 and Carter in 1976.  Florida’s legislature consists of a Republican governor and a Republican Speaker of the House. Republicans hold 28 of 40 seats in their Senate and 74 of 120 seats in their House.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s