Minnesota loses 19,400 residents to other states in 2022 – pace of exit is quickening

A year ago yesterday, I wrote that:

New Census Bureau population data show that Minnesota’s population grew by just 225 people in 2021. One particularly alarming aspect of this was a loss of 13,453 residents to other states. This was our state’s biggest net loss of domestic migrants to other states in at least 30 years. [Emphasis added]

New Census Bureau data show that our state smashed this record in 2022. From mid-2021 to mid-2022, 19,400 Minnesota residents left for other states, by far the highest number in at least three decades.

As Figure 1 shows, until 2001 Minnesota received more residents from other states each year than it lost to them. Since then, in all except two years, 2017 and 2018, our state has seen more residents leave than have chosen to come here from elsewhere in the United States. The loss of residents seen in 2021 and 2022 is not a new phenomenon, but the pace of exit is quickening: Minnesotans are fleeing the state in larger numbers.

Figure 1: Annual net domestic migration in Minnesota

Source: Census Bureau

Where did people move to and from? Figure 2 shows domestic net migration for 2022 for all the fifty states and District of Columbia. We see that the most popular destinations by far were Texas and Florida. On net, these states gained an impressive 549,816 residents in one year. The big losers were New York and California. Together, these two states lost a staggering 642,787 residents between 2021 and 2022.

The performance of Minnesota’s neighbors is also worth noting. Iowa and North Dakota both lost residents to other states, but Wisconsin and South Dakota both gained healthy numbers from elsewhere in the United States; 7,657 and 8,424 respectively. This belies the notion – as do California’s terrible numbers – that this is all driven by the weather.

Figure 2: Net domestic migration, 2022

Source: Census Bureau

I wrote recently about how the incoming Walz administration is going to make workforce development a priority to ease Minnesota’s labor shortage. I wish them the best of luck. They’ll need it.