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New York
-0.91%
Illinois
-0.82%
Louisiana
-0.8%
West Virginia
-0.58%
Hawaii
-0.48%
Oregon
-0.38%
Mississippi
-0.32%
Pennsylvania
-0.31%
Rhode Island
-0.3%
California
-0.29%
New Mexico
-0.16%
Maryland
-0.16%
Massachusetts
-0.11%
Alaska
-0.08%
Ohio
-0.07%
New Jersey
-0.07%
Michigan
-0.03%
Kansas
-0.03%
Vermont
0.01%
Connecticut
0.08%
Iowa
0.09%
Minnesota
0.1%
Missouri
0.13%
Kentucky
0.13%
North Dakota
0.17%
Wisconsin
0.21%
Nebraska
0.22%
Indiana
0.29%
Virginia
0.3%
Wyoming
0.33%
Alabama
0.48%
Colorado
0.49%
New Hampshire
0.56%
Washington
0.58%
Maine
0.59%
Oklahoma
0.72%
Nevada
1%
Georgia
1.16%
Tennessee
1.19%
Utah
1.25%
North Carolina
1.26%
Arkansas
1.3%
Arizona
1.3%
Delaware
1.35%
Montana
1.5%
South Dakota
1.52%
Texas
1.59%
South Carolina
1.72%
Idaho
1.82%
Florida
1.91%

Population Decline by State 2024

Population Decline by State 2024

Population decline is typical in U.S. states and countries around the world. Where one population declines, another population increases. Population decline has several causes and several adverse effects.

Some causes, as of late, include a global pandemic, alterations to the political landscapes, expansion of internet access, and changes in the workforce.

Some adverse effects include a lack of skilled workers, slower economic growth, and reduced representation in government because House of Representatives seats and Electoral College seats are tied to population.

Why Are States Losing Population?

In recent years, Americans have been moving rapidly. Over the last decade, many have recovered from the 2008 recession. Moving is expensive, so many families stayed in their current location and homes until their jobs became more secure and their finances improved. Additionally, the baby boomer generation is moving into retirement. This causes several southern states to see a population increase as retirees move towards warmer weather and lower costs of living.

But as workplace options expand and people have more and more abilities to work remotely, you also see population growth in larger, more rural states. According to Pew’s analysis of the 2020 census data, states like Idaho, Utah, and Montana had significant increases between 2020 and 2021.

But Florida, unsurprisingly, has had one of the fastest-growing populations in the U.S. over the last three decades.

Some research indicates that taxes, primarily property taxes and income taxes, influence people’s moving decisions. For the people worried about income taxes, Alaska, FloridaFlorida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do not levy a state income tax.

When it comes to property taxes, it’s best to stay clear of New Jersey (2.47%), Illinois(2.30%), New Hampshire (2.20%), and Connecticut (2.11%), the four states whose property taxes are above 2%. Businesses also move across state lines because of taxes, labor costs, and worker shortages. When companies leave a state, they take their jobs with them. This can cause more people to move to the new state and slow the economic growth of the states the businesses left.

How States Combat Population Loss

Even though there is some benefit to living in each state, some states have recognized that they might be lagging behind. For example, Maine has started offering tax incentives for college graduates that move there. West Virginia has been steadily losing residents over the last decade and is shifting its focus to attracting remote workers. If you are considering moving, be sure to look for incentive programs that could either ease your transition or play a factor in the state you choose.

States with Population Loss

In 2020-2021, 19 U.S. states saw population loss, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In a few states like New Jersey and Vermont, a year of population loss isn’t much of a concern as both states had several years of population growth, making the decline a one-off. However, in states like West Virginia and Illinois, populations have declined for most of the last ten years and are causing concern.

For example, between 2010 and 2020, West Virginia’s population fell by about 59,000 people or around 3.2%. This is due to a combination of more deaths than births and net migration. The state had 19,000 more deaths than births and 27,000 more people leaving the state than moving in.

The cost of living is a significant factor in why people move out of a state. Of the ten states that saw population declines last year, Hawaii, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey are among the ten states with the highest cost of living. Below are the ten states that experienced population loss in the past year. States are ranked by the percentage loss of their total population.

The pandemic also created a lot of population changes as people fled both populated and more regulated regions. Between 2020 and 2021, New York saw a decrease of 1.58%, and Illinois saw a population decrease of 0.89%, or 18,124. However, most states that saw a population loss during 2020-2021 saw slight population growth in the following year.

The following states are ranked by the biggest decrease in population between 2020 and 2021 based on data from Pew’s analysis of the 2020 Census results.

Population Decline by State 2024

Notes:
- Data shown indicate percentages and whole numbers of population change. Negative numbers in these categories indicate a population decline, while positive numbers indicate population growth.
- Population growth and/or decline are impacted by a wide variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental/weather changes, and economic factors such as state-level tax rates.

Download Table Data

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State
% Population Change
Change In Population 2021-2022
Population 07-01-2021
Population 07-01-2022
New York-0.91%-180,34119,857,49219,677,151
Illinois-0.82%-104,43712,686,46912,582,032
Louisiana-0.8%-36,8574,627,0984,590,241
West Virginia-0.58%-10,3701,785,5261,775,156
Hawaii-0.48%-6,9581,447,1541,440,196
Oregon-0.38%-16,1644,256,3014,240,137
Mississippi-0.32%-9,5292,949,5862,940,057
Pennsylvania-0.31%-40,05113,012,05912,972,008
Rhode Island-0.3%-3,2511,096,9851,093,734
California-0.29%-113,64939,142,99139,029,342
Maryland-0.16%-9,9506,174,6106,164,660
New Mexico-0.16%-3,3332,116,6772,113,344
Massachusetts-0.11%-7,7166,989,6906,981,974
Alaska-0.08%-599734,182733,583
New Jersey-0.07%-6,2629,267,9619,261,699
Ohio-0.07%-8,28411,764,34211,756,058
Kansas-0.03%-7722,937,9222,937,150
Michigan-0.03%-3,39110,037,50410,034,113
Vermont0.01%92646,972647,064
Connecticut0.08%2,8503,623,3553,626,205
Iowa0.09%2,8283,197,6893,200,517
Minnesota0.1%5,7135,711,4715,717,184
Kentucky0.13%5,7214,506,5894,512,310
Missouri0.13%8,1346,169,8236,177,957
North Dakota0.17%1,327777,934779,261
Wisconsin0.21%12,4385,880,1015,892,539
Nebraska0.22%4,3691,963,5541,967,923
Indiana0.29%19,5056,813,5326,833,037
Virginia0.3%26,2548,657,3658,683,619
Wyoming0.33%1,898579,483581,381
Alabama0.48%24,4505,049,8465,074,296
Colorado0.49%28,6295,811,2975,839,926
New Hampshire0.56%7,7261,387,5051,395,231
Washington0.58%45,0417,740,7457,785,786
Maine0.59%8,1021,377,2381,385,340
Oklahoma0.72%28,5753,991,2254,019,800
Nevada1%31,3703,146,4023,177,772
Georgia1.16%124,84710,788,02910,912,876
Tennessee1.19%82,9886,968,3517,051,339
Utah1.25%41,6873,339,1133,380,800
North Carolina1.26%133,08810,565,88510,698,973
Arizona1.3%94,3207,264,8777,359,197
Arkansas1.3%94,3207,264,8777,359,197
Delaware1.35%13,5891,004,8071,018,396
Montana1.5%16,6401,106,2271,122,867
South Dakota1.52%13,660896,164909,824
Texas1.59%470,70829,558,86430,029,572
South Carolina1.72%89,3685,193,2665,282,634
Idaho1.82%34,7191,904,3141,939,033
Florida1.91%416,75421,828,06922,244,823
showing: 50 rows

Population Decline by State 2024

Sources