Which States Are Gaining/Losing Population the Fastest?


Last week, we visualized which states people were moving to and from. This time, we visualized these population gains and losses as a percent of each states population to better contextualize which states are actually gaining/losing the most. The leaders in population loss by pure numbers were California, New York, and Illinois. When looking at their losses in proportion to each state's overall population, New York pulls ahead as losing the most people in proportion to its population. While not a state, Washington D.C. also lost a significant amount, at over 3% of its residents. Thus, even when looking in proportion to total population, California, New York, and Illinois are still the largest 3 losers of residents(other than Washington D.C).


On the other hand, the leaders in resident gains, Texas and Florida, fall behind when looking at those gains in proportion to overall population. Instead, two states in the northwest, Idaho and Montana, rise to the top. Following them is Arizona, which has benefited from people leaving California, and South Carolina.


Why Are People Leaving?


People leave for various reasons, including cost of living, jobs, retirement, and being closer to family. Because this data measures moves during the pandemic, one could reasonably believe that some of these moves are a result of companies giving employees the option to work from home. Given that California is home to Silicon Valley, some of its losses could be from tech workers returning to their home states.


In both New York and California, losses could be explained by higher cost of living(rent, food, childcare, etc.) and their more stringent COVID-19 rules


Another possibility is that the pandemic fast-tracked retirements, which could in turn bring those peoples' children along with them.


Have an idea for a visualization you'd like to see? Comment it below!

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