Residents are Still Leaving the Keystone State
Pennsylvania’s population grew by a scant 0.13 percent last year, according to new Census Bureau estimates—but more residents moved out than back in.
From July 2017 to July 2018, Pennsylvania’s population grew by 16,613 individuals. This was largely driven by more than 35,000 international immigrants coming to Pennsylvania.
But residents keep moving to other states. The commonwealth lost 20,463 residents, on net, to other states—that’s the equivalent of losing two residents every hour.
The chart below shows the components of population change last year.
As we’ve noted previously, Pennsylvania has long been a loser in state-to-state migration. Indeed, IRS data confirms Pennsylvania lost 329,000 residents—with $15.3 billion in annual income—to other states from 1992-2016.
The commonwealth lost 20,463 residents, on net, to other states—that’s the equivalent of losing two residents every hour.
Though concerning, Pennsylvania’s hardly the worst case. The commonwealth remains the 5th largest state, as interstate migration caused Illinois to lose population again. Our neighbors New York and New Jersey were among the biggest losers to other states. Indeed, Pennsylvania usually gains from residents fleeing the Empire State and Garden State, while losing residents elsewhere.
As the map below shows, residents tend to flee high tax states for better opportunities elsewhere.
If Pennsylvania wants to retain its residents—and the economic gains they bring—we must pursue a fair tax structure and even business playing field, making the Keystone State a place people want to live, invest, and raise their families.