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Surprising population data highlights need for policy trifecta

Policies matter and they have real consequence. Perhaps the starkest example of this is the ability of a citizen to vote with their feet.


The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest population estimates provide near real-time data on the locations where citizens are thriving and the locations where lawmakers are suffocating opportunity.


Not surprisingly, Idaho and Montana remain two of the fastest growing states in the nation. Florida, Utah and Tennessee are also seeing largest increases in population growth. High tax, high regulation states including California, Illinois and New York are all seeing declines.


A deeper dive finds even more interesting data at the county and city level. Idaho’s two largest counties – Ada and Canyon – both experienced large increases year over year.


But Idaho’s largest city has seen a decline in its population.

Meantime, Meridian and Nampa both continue to show substantial growth.


Montana’s three largest cities are growing, albeit slower than one might expect.


Meantime, the city of Spokane’s population is stagnant, while the city of Spokane Valley continues to show modest increases.


We know what drives growth, and what stifles it. Research has consistently shown people move to states and communities that provide high-quality services, low taxes and few regulations. Policymakers should make sure they are offering this trifecta.

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