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Why Do People Move To Texas?

December 28, 2009

Some new Census Bureau figures are out–file this under more evidence for Tiebout competition among States. Michael Barone has a fairly good summary:

Interestingly, several Northeastern states — New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island — continue to attract large percentages of immigrants, but even they (except for Massachusetts) suffer from domestic outflow. Public policies — high taxes and welfare benefits — may account for these seemingly contradictory trends…

No. 3 in percentage population growth in 2008-09 was giant Texas, the nation’s second most populous state. Its population grew by almost half a million and accounted for 18 percent of the nation’s total population growth. Texas had above-average immigrant growth, but domestic in-migration was nearly twice as high.

There may be lessons for public policy here. Texas over the decades has had low taxes (and no state income tax), low public spending and regulations that encourage job growth. It didn’t have much of a housing bubble or a housing price bust.

We’ve written previously about some of Texas’s competitive virtues here.

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