Red states like Texas and Florida growing, while California, Illinois and NY shrinking: census

Florida, Texas and Arizona saw largest gains in domestic migration

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Red states are increasing in population and blue states are shrinking during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

Between 2020 and 2021, the country has seen the lowest population growth since its founding, at only a 0.1% increase, but the biggest declines have occurred in Washington, D.C., and Democrat-led states, according to a report Tuesday by the Census Bureau

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D.C. topped the list with a decline of 2.9% of its population since the census was taken in April of last year, followed by New York with a 1.6% decline, Illinois with a 0.9% decline, and Hawaii and California that both saw a 0.7% decline.

Meanwhile, the states that saw the biggest increase in population growth were Republican-run states, starting with Idaho at a 2.9% increase, followed by Utah with 1.7%, Montana with 1.7%, Arizona with 1.4% and South Carolina with 1.2%.

The Republican-led states that caught the most heat politically for their COVID-19 policies, Florida and Texas, each saw a population growth of 1%.

In terms of numbers alone, the largest gains in domestic migration (the movement of people from one area of the U.S. to another) were in Florida with 220,890, followed by Texas and Arizona. The largest domestic migration losses were in California, which lost 367,299 residents, followed by New York and Illinois.

The South was the only region that had a positive net domestic migration of 657,682 between 2020 and 2021. The Northeast region lost the most people due to domestic migration at -389,638.

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GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, on Nov. 6, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada

GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, on Nov. 6, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Fox News )

Former residents of large cities who recently moved to Florida told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that rising crime, taxes, and government overreach drove their decisions to move.

"The taxes I was paying in Cook County … were getting really insane. My property tax went up $1,000 in one year. And I realized that that trend was going to continue," said Paula Miller, a former Chicago-area resident, adding that she also feels "truly safe" in Florida because Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, "is a law-and-order governor." 

"Our plan was to reassess in the summer of 2022 where we wanted to go," former Chicago resident Lauren Callahan told Fox, "but with COVID and city life in general … we decided to come to Florida in November."

"It's an opportunity to live outside, as well as get some tax benefits," said former New Jersey resident Warren Cohn, who now lives in Miami. "And also, it's a state that has …various freedoms. … I think that the governor has done a good job here allowing people to decide what's comfortable or not for themselves."

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom makes an appearance after the polls close on the recall election, at the California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, California, Sept. 14, 2021.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom makes an appearance after the polls close on the recall election, at the California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, California, Sept. 14, 2021. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s press office told Fox News last week that "the California exodus is a myth."

"California’s economy grew at a 4.7 percent annual rate in the past quarter-century compared with 4 percent U.S. growth, and more recently, California’s economy expanded at 3.9 percent annually in the last 5 years vs 2.9 percent annually," the spokesperson said. 

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Emma Colton contributed to this report.