US populations growing faster in lower-tax states

The states where populations have grown the fastest over the past year include a handful with either low, or no, state income taxes.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year ending in July, states with no income taxes – like Florida, Nevada and Washington – saw among the largest jumps in population growth.

The two states that saw the fastest rates of population growth were Nevada and Idaho – at 2.1 percent apiece. Nevada charges no statewide income tax.

Utah, which has a flat-rate 4.95 percent income tax, saw the third-largest population growth during the same time period – at 1.9 percent – followed by Arizona, where rates range from 2.59 percent to 4.54 percent. Utah was also listed by the Tax Foundation as one of the states where middle-class Americans will see the biggest savings from the new tax law.

For reference, the top income tax rate in California is more than 13 percent.

In Florida and Washington – where residents don’t pay any income taxes – populations grew by 1.5 percent each.

Florida also gained the most residents out of any state from net domestic migration. Since 2010, more than 1.16 million people have relocated to the state.

Additionally, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Florida and Colorado were among the states with the fastest job growth over the past year, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Half of those states do not charge residents any income taxes.

Texas, another no-income tax state, experienced the highest population growth by volume between 2017 and 2018 – at 379,128 people – followed by Florida.

Across the nation as a whole, the U.S. population grew by 0.6 percent.

On the other hand, in some higher-tax states, populations actually shrank. In New York, for example, where state income taxes extend up to 8.82 percent, 48,510 people left the state. More than 45,100 residents left Illinois, where the state income tax was recently raised to 4.95 percent, from 3.75 percent – in addition to a host of other financial challenges within the state government.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act caused tax experts to speculate that citizens might flee higher tax states in favor of areas with less aggressive policies, especially after popular deductions, like state and local tax deductions, were reduced or eliminated.