This article appeared online at on Thursday, December 23, 2021:  

The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, released on Tuesday, confirms the ongoing trend: Citizens are escaping Democrat-run blue states and moving to more friendly — and lower tax — Republican-run red states.

California, New York, and Illinois suffered the largest “domestic migration” losses in 2021, while Texas, Florida, and Arizona reaped most of the harvest of newcomers. New York lost so many citizens that, despite natural growth, its population dropped below 20 million for the first time in years. California lost the most: 367,000 fled the state this year.

Texas enjoyed the largest increase — more than 350,000 new residents moved there in 2021 — while Idaho came in second, with more than 60,000 moving there in the past year. New York, on the other hand, lost more than 365,000 residents, dropping the state’s population to 19,835,000.

Idaho saw its population increase by nearly three percent in 2021, while Utah’s and Montana’s each grew by 1.7 percent. South Carolina grew by 1.2 percent, while Florida’s population increased by one percent.

While many factors make such moves likely, high crime and high taxes rank among the most important to those making the move. As Andrew Stiles wrote in the Washington Free Beacon, “It’s probably not a coincidence that the states Americans are fleeing have some of the highest tax rates in the country, while the states to which they are flocking have some of the lowest.”

John Green, a freelance writer at American Thinker, made the move last year:

My wife and I were part of the migration. We lived for 36 years in American Siberia — otherwise known as Minnesota. Politics in Minnesota has always been dominated by the Democrats. However, in recent years it has taken a decidedly radical turn.


When Keith Ellison — a former supporter of the Nation of Islam and attorney to cop killers — was elected attorney general, we knew it was time to leave. This anti-Semite, race-baiter, and woman abuser was now the state’s top law enforcement official. What could possibly go wrong?


One year after we left, the George Floyd riots happened. That’s what could go wrong.


We moved to the small town of Star, Idaho. I call Star the nicest refugee camp in the world. It’s a community of new housing subdivisions, wonderful schools (that don’t teach Critical Race Theory), numerous churches, and friendly people.


It has also doubled in population in the last 10 years — almost entirely from west-coast transplants.

The U-Haul migration index reflects the out-migration from high-tax, high crime, high-cost-of-living states such as New York and California. According to its most recent study, “U-Haul customers made Texas and Florida their top two destinations from 2016-2019.… California ranks last by a wide margin … [that] state has ranked 48th [on our list] or lower since 2016. Illinois has been 49th or 50th since 2015.”

The top five most popular states in 2020 were Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona; while Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey joined Illinois and California at the bottom of the list.

The out-migration from blue states is giving red states a political boost. Although not all the data is in, it’s clear that California and New York will lose representation in the in 2022, while Texas is forecast to gain at least three House seats in time for the midterm elections.

Not everyone is leaving New York, at least not yet. Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican representing New York’s 1st Congressional District that encompasses most of Suffolk County, has decided to enter the race for governor in the notoriously blue state. He said:

Many New Yorkers feel like they can’t afford to survive here.… They feel like their government does not reflect their opinions, their desires, their beliefs and freedoms.… Many New Yorkers feel like Andrew Cuomo 2.0 [Governor Kathy Hochul, who replaced Cuomo] is worse that what we had before.

Zeldin hopes to ride the Republican wave that surfaced in Virginia and New Jersey in November, which also allowed the party to pick up legislative seats in towns across the Empire State. District Attorneys in both Nassau and Suffolk counties moved from red to blue, but the GOP picked up more seats in the Suffolk County legislature and the New York City Council.

Said Zeldin:

It’s not that the pendulum is about to swing. It’s actually already swung. We saw that November 2nd, not just in Virginia but also in New York.

Zeldin is serious. Giving up his present seat in the House to run for governor of New York, he has already raised more than $4 million, more than all the other candidates combined.

Zeldin has a long history of winning against the odds. He has won seven consecutive races in New York City’s suburban districts and, in 2014, took out Tim Bishop, a Democrat House member who had held that seat for six terms. Said Zeldin:

I’m not in this race to finish in second [place]. I’m giving up my House seat to make the run, so we do not make this decision lightly. We’re all in and our mentality is that losing is not an option.

Zeldin is riding a growing tailwind of unhappiness among New Yorkers, many of them not able to to join the more than 300,000 who left in 2021.

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