Data show that middle class residents are fleeing Minnesota
From mid-2021 to mid-2022, a net 19,400 Minnesota residents left for other states, by far the highest number in at least three decades. When you point this out, a common response is that these are all elderly residents retiring. Data show that that is not, in fact, true. Another (slightly less) common response is that these are largely rich people fleeing our state’s high taxes. While the acknowledgment that people move in response to taxes is welcome, data show that this, too, is not the full story.
Internal Revenue Service data breaks down in and out migrants to and from Minnesota by both age and income of the primary taxpayer. Table 1 and Figure 1 show Minnesota’s net domestic migration of individuals of different income groups over the last nine years, those for which this data is available. Overall Minnesota sees a 26,807net loss of residents to other states. But, contrary to the notion that it is just ‘the rich’ who are fleeing Minnesota, we see that Minnesota loses residents, on net, in every income category from $50k to $75k and up.
Table 1: Minnesota’s net domestic migration by income
Figure 1: Minnesota’s net domestic migration by income, 2011-2012 to 2019-2020