This Blue State Lost the Most Residents in 2023, And Many Moved to Red States

By: Lauren | Published: Jan 10, 2024

The U.S. Census Bureau released its domestic migration data from 2023, and the results are causing an intense debate.

One of the most interesting statistics in the report states that one state, in particular, experienced the largest emigration it has ever seen, and politics seem to play a major role in the mass exodus.

The U.S. Census Emigration Statistics of 2023

The U.S. Census Bureau, which records the population, immigration, and emigration of the country’s residents, released its data from 2023 earlier this week.

United States Census Bureau logo in blue and white


It found that 101,984 people left New York. California lost 75,423 citizens, and Illinois has 32,826 fewer residents than last year.

Where Did Everyone Go?

They also noted that the majority of people who left their state of residence moved to four specific states, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Florida state flag and banner on a yellow background/Texas state flag and banner on a red background

Source: Freepik

However, it’s important to note that while in 2023, 67% of the mobile population headed to these four states, in 2022, they saw 97% of immigration. Therefore, it’s safe to say that those leaving states like New York and California are spreading out more than they had before.

Why Are People Leaving New York and California?

Although the leading states for emigration, New York and California, may seem wildly different on paper, the truth is that they have quite a lot in common.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, at sunset

Source: Freepik

Both states have higher taxes than most others, they are seeing intense increased costs of living, have highly populated cities, and maybe most importantly, are both blue states.

The Blue State Exodus

Previously, people have assumed that California and New York saw the highest numbers of emigration because of how expensive it was to live there, though with the new data, many have a different theory.

Map of the blue and red states as of 2022

Source: Wikipedia

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, red or Republican states experienced population growth, whereas blue states saw a significant decline in residents in 2023.

Republican Chairwoman Elise Stefanik Weighed In

Rep. Elise Stefanik, House Republican Conference Chairwoman, told the press that the mass exodus from her state was due to “the consequences of Far Left Democrat leadership.”

US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) arrives for a House Republican members meeting

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

She expanded, “Far Left Kathy Hochul and Albany Democrats have made New York so unlivable that our state leads the nation in population loss with more than 102,000 residents leaving in one year alone.”


The “Safety and Prosperity of New Yorkers” Needs to Be a Priority

With Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul running the state, Stefanik says that if she and her team “don’t start putting the safety and prosperity of New Yorkers before their extremist agenda, there will be no more residents left to tax and fund their radical, socialist programs.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul debates in the race for governor

Source: Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images

Hochul is working closely with fellow democrat and mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, to do what they believe is best for the state, but many agree with Stefanik that they are simply not making the right calls.


What’s Going on in New York?

Of course, the high cost of living is a real problem, but some say that is not the most pressing matter at hand.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a press conference

Source: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Instead, it’s the way Mayor Eric Adams has dealt with the mass immigration of immigrants from the south to their beloved city, New York City.


The Immigration Issue

New York City has reported more than 150,100 immigrants arriving from the U.S.-Mexico border this year alone.

Dozens of recently arrived migrants to New York City camp outside of the Roosevelt Hotel, which has been made into a reception center

Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

And many are arguing that the mayor’s acceptance of these migrants without the ability to properly house and care for them is, at least in part, causing many New Yorkers to leave the now-crowded city.


New York Taxes Are Paying for Migrant Housing

Another aspect to this complicated situation is that organizing and housing the over 100,000 migrants in New York is costing its tax-paying residents.

Traffic moves along 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Reports state that Eric Adams has said handling the migration situation will cost the city $12 billion. And with ever-increasing taxes throughout the city and state, some residents simply don’t agree with his plan and budget.


New Yorkers Will Likely Continue to Leave

Every year, residents leave New York for more affordable states, and while the Empire State still has one of the highest populations in the country, emigration could start to take its toll sooner than later.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks during a news conference with House Republican leadership at the US Capitol

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stefanik believes that New York hasn’t seen the worst of it yet. She said to the press, “With record crime and cost of living far beyond the national average, New York’s mass exodus is far from over.”


What’s Next for the Great State of New York?

If Stefanik is correct in her assessment, it may mean that in order for things to change in New York, they will need to elect different government officials.

People registering to vote in a gymnasium

Source: Freepik

Of course, when it comes to politics, no one really knows what the future holds. But it certainly seems like many New Yorkers no longer want to live in the formerly-beloved state, and if changes aren’t made, it may see an even larger emigration in 2024.