Where Are People Moving To and From? Policy is Part of the Answer

By at 14 January, 2020, 12:41 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

United Van Lines released in National Moving Study earlier this month. It tracks where people moved among the states in 2019.

And it’s not surprising to take note that net moves were, in part, affected by the costs imposed by government.

The study tracks United Van Lines’ customer moves and state-to-state migration. It then ranks the states (with more than 250 moves) according to the highest percentage of inbound migrations.

Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, was quoted about the study: “Key factors like the Baby Boomer generation re-locating upon reaching retirement age as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs drove these 2019 moving patterns.”

Of course, a variety of factors come into play when talking about a state’s economic performance and assorted costs. That definitely includes public policy choices.

If we look at the top 15 states and the bottom 15 on the United Van Lines study, we do see a general pattern.

First, as noted below, among the United Van Lines study top 15 states, 12 of these states ranked among the top half of states ranked on SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth.” The Index ranks the 50 states according to 62 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures.

Meanwhile, on the other end, among the bottom 15 states on the United Van Lines moving study, 10 states rank in the bottom half of states on the Index, as noted below.

Sure, many factors come into play when people make decisions about where to live, work and/or start up or invest in a business. That includes costs, many of which are impacted by public policy  – such as taxes and regulations – and those factors are not like the weather, for they are a matter of choice for elected officials, and therefore, voters.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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