What Makes a State Popular?

Ryan Heuchert, Staff Writer

As of 2023, there are 332 million people who live across the 50 states including the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. While many states have a healthy population, some attract people more than others. Some of these states are more popular to move to, while others are driving people away. What makes a state so popular. The answer varies from person to person. 

There are a multitude of reasons why someone would choose to move to a state. Sophomore Omar Abdelrahman says, “If I was moving somewhere, I would want to know about job opportunities, weather, and house prices.” Two examples are Idaho and Texas. Statistics from World Population Review  say Idaho is the second fastest growing state with a growth rate of 1.43 percent, while Texas is the third fastest growing state with a growth rate of 1.34 percent.  

People find Idaho appealing because of the low cost-of-living, low crime rate and job opportunities. Statistics from the U.S. News & World Report say Idaho’s job growth rate is twice as high as the national average. This state also has a violent crime rate of 224 crimes per 100,000 people while the national average is 379 crimes per 100,000 people. More information from U.S. News & World Report state Idaho scores 93.6 on the cost-of-living index with the national average being 100.0.  

Meanwhile, Texas is popular because of the state’s house prices. Redfin says, “Most populous cities in Texas… have a median home value well below the national average…. The median sale price of a home in Texas in June 2022 was $385,800, while the national median sale price was $428,379.” People are also moving to Texas because of the weather. Redfin adds “the average temperature during the winter months is between 55-65 degrees. While summers can be hot and humid…there are many ways to keep cool during the warmer months… with air conditioning and pools being popular features in homes.” 

On the flip side, there are states people are leaving. Two examples are New York and California. Information from World Population Review state New York’s population decreased by 1.58 percent, while California’s population decreased by 0.66 percent. 

New York has become less popular because of various reasons. U.S. News & World Report says the average debt after graduation is $31,155 while the national average is $28,996. 26 percent of the state’s roads are listed as being in poor condition and average commuting time is 34 minutes, more than seven minutes longer than the national average.  

California is another state that has become decreasingly popular. Moving APT says, “The Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals…the marginal income tax rate is currently at 13.3 percent, but legislators want to increase it to almost 17 percent…The sales tax is more than 7 percent already and there is a $0.50 gas tax.” Some people also feel like there are a lot of restrictions to living in California. Senior Rex Abolins says, “”I want to avoid California; there are way too many people and a lot of regulations.” Moving APT adds that many residents of the state are unhappy with the homeless situation, stating, “Others complain that there has been an increase in homeless encampments in suburban locations all over the state. Most former residents of the state feel that the Californian government is either not doing its best in solving the problem or is just compounding the problem.”  

A final reason people move to other states is the desire for a change in pace. Junior Allison Del Sarto says, “When I go to college, I would like to go to another state. I have lived here my whole life and want to be somewhere new.” 

Although California has seen a 0.66 percent decrease in population, there is still a significant number of people moving to the state of California. KTLA 5 says, “About 437,275 people from other states and countries moved to California in 2020.” Freshman Julia Albuquerque says, “I would like to move to California because of the nice weather and variety of activities like going to the beach or Disneyland.  

There are several factors people consider before moving to or leaving a state, but everyone prioritizes these factors differently. If someone wants a lot of land for cheap, they go to Texas. If someone wants a cheaper cost-of-living and low crime, Idaho is the way to go for them. If a person wants sunny weather and a bustling city, they move to California. Residents also prioritize the factors they dislike about a state. For example, some people may not move to Idaho because there are not enough people. Others may not move to California because of the high cost of living. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer for the perfect state. That choice lies on the shoulders of people themselves.