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Young Americans are increasingly choosing to abandon Democrat-dominated states like California in favor of Republican-controlled states in the South, Midwest and Mountain West, according to a new analysis of government data.
The report, which was analyzed and published on Jan. 3 by StorageCafe, shows that among the 27 states with a net positive migration of millennials in 2022, 18 had elected Republican majorities in both houses of their state legislature in the 2022 election.
Their data further indicates that these red states experienced a total net migration of millennials that topped 242,000 in 2022 alone, with Texas, Georgia and Florida earning the top spots.
Other red states that saw large net increases in millennials include North Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, Kansas and South Carolina.
The five states with the biggest losses of millennials are all considered Democrat strongholds. The biggest losers were California, which experienced a net migration of 73,000 millennials, and New York, which had a net migration of 60,000.
Americans considered to be a part of Gen Z, which in the report was defined as young people aged 18 to 23, also appear to be ditching high-cost blue states.
Among the five states with worst net migration of Gen Zers in 2022, all are heavily controlled by Democrats: New Jersey, California, Illinois, Maryland and New York. Combined, they experienced a net loss of more than 144,000 Gen Zers.
Conversely, of the 10 states with the biggest Gen Z population gains in 2022, seven chose to put Republicans in charge of their legislatures in 2022, including North Carolina and Texas.
There was one bright spot for Democrats, however. Deep-blue Connecticut experienced the highest positive net migration of Gen Zers in 2022, totaling just over 15,000. Considering the massive losses tallied in neighboring New York, it seems likely Connecticut’s gains are due to young people seeking to escape out-of-control cost increases in New York City.
Some might be tempted to think these migration patterns are linked to job opportunities, but the available data doesn’t appear to point in that direction. Some of the states with the lowest unemployment rates, such as Maryland and Massachusetts, are also the ones experiencing some of the biggest losses of young people.
It’s much more likely that the high cost of living in many blue states, perhaps coupled with rising crime in urban areas, is the best explanation for the migration patterns experienced in recent years.
According to a comprehensive report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center about the cost of living in all 50 states, the 10 states with the highest cost of living in the third quarter of 2023 were Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, New York, Alaska, Washington, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, and Oregon. In all but two of those states – Alaska and New Hampshire – Democrats control the legislature.
Among those 10 states with highest living costs, only two saw positive net migration of millennials in 2022, New Hampshire and Washington.
It remains unclear what impact, if any, changes in political affiliation might have had on young people’s decisions to move to red states. But it is worth noting that polling data indicates that support for Republicans among both Gen Zers and millennials increased during the 2022 election compared to previous election years.
Data from the Pew Research Center shows that 72% of voters aged 18-29 and 59% of 30-49-year-olds voted for Democrats in 2018. In 2022, support for Democrats among those two groups dropped to 68% and 52%, respectfully.
Further, recent polling shows young people are abandoning President Biden at a shocking rate. Despite having overwhelming support from young people in the 2020 election, a recent USA Today/Suffolk University survey showed that in a hypothetical matchup in November 2024, former President Donald Trump would have more support than Biden among voters under 35 years old.
Faced with soaring cost-of-living increases and skyrocketing levels of violent crime, Gen Zers and millennials are moving to more affordable, safer communities, many of which are located in red states.
The big question, however, the one that could shape the national political landscape for decades to come, is whether these younger Americans understand that it is liberals’ policies that created the problems that they are now running from.
Democrats’ reckless government spending is the biggest reason for the recent inflation crisis.
Democrats’ defund-the-police, weak-on-crime policies are the reason so many cities have become unsafe.
Democrats’ costly regulations and zoning restrictions are one of the biggest reasons housing has become too expensive in many areas, although inflation is likely even more to blame.
Democrats’ environmental policies are driving up the cost of energy nationwide, although blue states have been disproportionately impacted over the past two decades.
It seems some young people are starting to wake up to these realities, but much more work is needed.
If conservatives fail to show young people there’s a direct connection between blue-state problems and blue-state policies, millennials and Gen Zers will likely still continue to move to red states – but they will almost certainly bring their disastrous ideological views with them.