Louisiana, Mississippi Lose Residents As Other Southeastern States Gain

(By Steve Wilson/The Center Square) – According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Louisiana and Mississippi lost population while the rest of the region’s populace increased.

Louisiana was the fifth worst for population loss, with the populace shrinking by 110,709 between April 1, 2020, and July 1. Neighboring Mississippi lost 13,944 residents and was ranked 33rd in terms of population gain or loss during the same period.

Digging deeper into the data, Louisiana lost 29,692 residents to other states, Mississippi 2,614. In 2023, Louisiana lost 14,274 residents, while Mississippi had a slight gain of 762.

“”Louisianans are frustrated by the results of decades of bad policy decisions. Too many have just given up and are finding jobs and opportunity elsewhere,” said Daniel Erspamer, the CEO for the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. “That’s why it’s time to bring them home and create a Louisiana where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.  There’s much to be done to reverse this shocking trend, and it will take big, bold reforms to write Louisiana’s comeback story.

“That starts with educational freedom that ensures every child has access to a school that fits, fundamental tax reform and the phase out of the personal income tax, and a major transformation of our social safety nets and workforce programs to give more people better help and the opportunity to find work.”

Both states, along with Maryland (lost 99,579 residents) were the outliers in the U.S. Census’s South Region, which had its population expand by 706,266 in 2023.

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The region consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Florida gained the most new residents with 818,762 between April 2020 and July 1, followed by Texas (656,220), North Carolina (310,189), South Carolina (248,055) and Arizona (218,247).

Among the other top gainers in the South were Tennessee with 207,097 new residents (sixth highest nationally), Georgia (185,752 for seventh place), Alabama (96,538, ninth best), Oklahoma (80,064, 10th best) and Arkansas (57,290, 12th best).

California had the largest population loss at 1.2 million people. It was followed by New York (882,676), Illinois (364,443), New Jersey (153,193) and Massachusetts (149,466).

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