The Tax Man and the Moving Van: Fiscal Policy and State Population

This Rio Grande Foundation study, “The Tax Man and the Moving Van” examines U.S. Census data from 1995 to 2000 in an effort to determine the factors that drive Americans to relocate to other states. The study’s findings suggest that people exercise their options by moving into states with low tax burdens and favorable business climates, and exiting states with high tax burdens, poor business climates, and higher relative costs of living. New Mexico, a state which has historically had relatively high taxes and an unfriendly business climate, lost significant numbers of citizens – especially the young and educated – to other states during this period.

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