Americans are increasingly pulling up stakes and fleeing high-tax blue states for red states that have lower taxes, according to a Bank of America analysis of aggregated anonymous internal data.
"We constructed near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows and found that pandemic migration trends are not reversing," the analysis said. Data as of the first quarter of 2023 "suggests that cities that saw a large influx of people during the pandemic have still been growing faster than other cities in recent quarters."
One of the country's top 23 major metropolitan areas, Austin, Texas, had the biggest increase in population during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also had the largest influx over the past four quarters. A comparison of first quarter data from 2022 and 2023 shows the net population of the Lone Star State capital grew by more than 1.5% in that time period.
Austin's population grew by 5% from 2020 to 2022.
In Tampa, Florida, the population jumped by a little less than 1% in 2023 and more than 2% in the previous two years. Orlando, Florida, shared similar growth rates with Tampa, according to the analysis.
There is no state income tax in Texas or Florida.
"Bank of America data suggests Baby Boomers are relocating to Las Vegas and Tampa while Millennials prefer Austin," the analysis said. "Both groups are leaving the larger cities of San Francisco and New York."
Cleveland, Dallas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; and Atlanta also saw net increases of people beginning in 2020.
On the flip side, the population of San Jose, California, plunged nearly 4% from 2020 to 2022 and more than 1% in early 2023.
Beset by skyrocketing crime and homelessness, San Francisco's population dropped by more than 1% in the first quarter of 2023 and more than 3% during the previous two years.
New York City rounded out the top three cities for population decline, losing approximately 1% of its population in early 2023 and 3% from 2020 to 2022, according to the analysis.
New York and California have among the highest tax burdens in the nation.
Census Bureau data released earlier this year also found that GOP-led states gained residents in 2022.
Florida was a top destination for many relocating Americans, with 318,855 people moving to the Sunshine State in 2022. The population increase from 2021 to 2022 amounted to 1.9%.
Other red states that saw population growth include Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, and Idaho.
"This population shift paints a clear picture," Janelle Fritts, a policy analyst at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, told Fox News. "People left high-tax, high-cost states for lower-tax, lower-cost alternatives."
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