(The Center Square) — Massachusetts suffered one of the highest out-migration rates in 2020, according to a new report that studied demographic trends during the pandemic-fueled year.
Wirepoints, an Illinois-based research and commentary organization, delved into population fluctuations in its latest analysis, using Internal Revenue Service data as the backdrop for its findings.
According to 2020 IRS filings, Massachusetts ranked 44th in migration trends, indicating population loss. The state lost 149,122 IRS filers in 2020 and gained 112,140 new ones, resulting in a net decrease of 36,982.
The amount of adjusted gross income funneled into Massachusetts in 2020 also followed a similar downward trajectory.
According to IRS data, $9.49 billion in adjusted gross income left the state in 2020, while $6.94 billion was brought in, resulting in a net deficit of $2.55 billion for the year.
Massachusetts’ demographic trends have been a topic of recent discussion as Governor Charlie Baker and the Legislature crafted the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget.
Earlier this year, Baker warned both houses of the General Assembly against measures such as wealth taxes, arguing that they could impact Massachusetts’ long-term fiscal state.
“I was less worried about that before the pandemic,” Baker said during a February budget hearing on Massachusetts’ fiscal competitiveness. “I don’t care anymore now. I think we’re standing out in a way that I would consider very negative.
According to the analysis, New York suffered the highest rate of emigration and adjusted gross income in 2020.
Wirepoints authors Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner described in the report the impact that the trend of population emigration can have on a state’s overall fiscal health.
“The problem with chronic exits, as in the case of New York, is that the losses in one year not only affect the tax base in the year they leave, but they also harm all subsequent years” , wrote Dabrowski and Klinger. “The losses are piling up on top of each other, year after year.”
Massachusetts’ total population loss in 2020, according to IRS findings, resulted in a 0.5% drop in year-over-year comparisons.
New York lost a total of 2.5% of its population in 2019 the following year when all was said and done. Illinois, which lost the second most people in the pandemic’s heaviest year, suffered a 1.9% population drop, followed by Alaska at 1.3% , California at 1.2% and North Dakota at 1%.
Outside of New York, all of Massachusetts’ neighbors fared better in the 2020 population analysis.
New Hampshire’s population increased by 0.7%, while Vermont’s increased by 0.5%. Rhode Island was flat with almost identical numbers of outgoing and incoming IRS filers, and Connecticut was down 0.1%.
In the United States, Idaho gained the most in population in 2020 (2%), followed by Arizona, Montana and South Carolina at 1.1%, Delaware at 1%, Nevada at 0.9% and Maine and Florida at 0.8%.