Although it’s common these days to talk about the exodus from California due to its leftist policies, there is one state that many people are ignoring in these conversations—Connecticut.
Dan Haar depicts Connecticut’s growing exodus in a post for The Register Citizen. Haar notes that people leaving for other states has exceeded arrivals to Connecticut by almost 100,000 during the last five years.
The columnist highlights one particularly lurid detail:
Connecticut saw an average net exodus — people arriving minus the number leaving — of 19,065. That’s generally larger than we’ve seen in any period in modern history other than steep recessions. It amounts to one-half of 1 percent of the population leaving every year.
Indeed, Connecticut’s resident flight is among the worst in the nation. However, Haar declares that it’s not as bad compared to New York and New Jersey, “both of which averaged 0.85 percent per year. For New York, that was 168,500 people a year, or 842,000 souls in five years — about the size of New Haven County.”
Haar also compares Connecticut’s case with more pro-business states such as Florida and Texas.
“Florida was by far the largest magnet for people from other states in 2013-17, with a net influx of 129,000 people a year. Texas was No. 2 at 99,000.”
None of these numbers are a coincidence.
According to the Cato Institute’s Freedom in the 50 States index, Florida and Texas are ranked 19th and 10th, respectively, for land-use freedom. On the other hand, Connecticut is ranked 40th. Land-use regulations, when excessively legislated, do contribute to rising housing costs due to the artificial restrictions they cause in the housing supply.
For that reason, Florida and Texas remain some of the most affordable housing markets despite their robust economic growth.
Being both Right to Work states, also gives Florida and Texas high marks. They are ranked 12th and 1st place in terms of labor freedom respectively. However, Connecticut finds itself at an abysmal 38th place.
On overall economic freedom, Florida and Texas are ranked 1st and 10th respectively. Connecticut is ranked at a below average 31st place.
All in all, the tale of Connecticut’s exodus is one of self-imposed anti-growth policies that cause people to leave the state. The beauty of the American federalist system is that it creates competition between the states for labor, talent, and capital.
The more business-friendly the state, the more likely people will end up moving to it. This should be a wake-up call for Connecticut lawmakers. If they want less people leaving their state, they need to start implementing more pro-freedom policies.