Mississippi’s Population Decline Continues


Bigger Pie Forum | Mississippi’s Population Decline Continues | Guest Contributor
Mississippi’s population decline continues. What can we do to break the cycle?
By: Jon Pritchett and Brett Kittredge
According to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the state’s population declined by 4,871, the sixth highest total in the country. Mississippi and neighboring Louisiana, which saw a decrease of 10,896 residents, are the only states in the south to lose population over the past year. This is a continuing trend.
But what’s happening in Mississippi is an outlier in the South, save for the Pelican State.
A look at the map of domestic migration, which measures where Americans are moving over the past year, shows a picture of the haves and the have-nots when it comes to population growth.
Large swaths of the Northeast and Midwest show a declining population, while the interior west, west coast (save for California), and the Southeast saw population gains. Substantial gains in some states.
Domestic migration growth rate in 2019
Mississippi had a negative domestic migration rate of 3.6, meaning for every 100 residents that moved to Mississippi last year, 103.6 left, according to analysis of Census numbers from the Illinois Policy Institute. Louisiana had a negative rate of 5.5. Every other southern state, south of Virginia, had positive numbers. Some smaller like 0.8 in Arkansas, some larger like 10.3 in South Carolina.
So people aren’t leaving the South, or running for liberal policy (see California, Illinois, and New York), they are just leaving Mississippi.
Mississippi over the past decade
While Mississippi’s population grew by about 20,000 during the first four years of this decade, there has been a sharp reversal dating back to 2015, save for a small positive uptick in 2017. The declines have been particularly noticeable over the past two years, losing more than 3,000 residents in 2018 and nearly 5,000

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