The free market is attractive according to a new report from the Census Bureau, an interesting - but not at all surprising - trend was made note of over the holiday season.
It would appear that states who embraced no income tax, and right-to-work laws saw booms in population growth during the the reign of the Obama administration ranging in the millions, and the vast majority of it from states that don't have these benefits.
From 2010 to 2016, the Census Bureau notes that states with no income tax saw a 9.1 percent hike in population, going from over 63 million nearly 69 million. States with right-to-work laws grew from 148 million to 157 million, a 6.2 percent difference.
While states with income tax and no right-to-work laws also saw growth, the gains weren't nearly as large as their opposites, with only 3.5 and 3.3 percent growths respectively.
As the American Enterprise Institute notes, most of this migration was state to state, and not international.
Clearly states without an income tax and states with a right-to-work law have been growing more rapidly than those with income taxes and without right-to-work laws. Fully 40 percent of the nation’s population growth occurred in the nine states with no income taxes and 64 percent of the nation’s population growth occurred in the 26 states with right-to-work laws.
The growth in no-income-tax and right-to-work states was fueled largely by net domestic migration rather than international migration, according to the 2016 Census estimates. The following tables show the numbers for the 2010-16 period.
In fact, a solid portion of the growth in states without right-to-work laws and income tax were done by international immigrants. As the AEI explains, it's due to the fact that immigrants are not typically weighed down by these factors when it comes to work.
Immigrants were less likely to go to such states: 75 percent went to states with income taxes and 60 percent to states without right-to-work laws. This makes a certain sense: immigrants are less likely than natives to pay income taxes (because those with low incomes usually pay little or none), and immigrants are less likely to be subject to paying union dues (since most union members are public employees and immigrants tend not to be eligible for or to seek public sector jobs).
So there you have it. In times of economic stress, people will naturally flock to places that put less stress on their wallet.