The Exodus recorded in the Bible was so the Hebrew people could escape the bondage of slavery in Egypt and find freedom in the Promised Land. A new exodus is happening as people seek escape from a modern-day slavery – bondage to government overreach. People are moving to new states to find freedom from overbearing governance.
A steady movement of people from blue states to red states was already happening before the Covid pandemic due to high taxes, high real estate prices, and rising crime rates. But Covid has added to the incentives to leave blue states due to government lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, and school closures.
James Freeman, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says the change seen in the District of Columbia is the most dramatic. The U.S. Census Bureau reports on data covering the period July 1, 2020, through July 1, 2021, and states:
“Over the past year, the District of Columbia’s population declined by 2.9%, or 20,043 residents, to a population of 670,050 in 2021. This was the largest annual percent decrease in the nation. The decline in the District of Columbia’s population can be attributed to negative net domestic migration (-23,030), which was large enough to offset gains from natural increase (2,171) and net international migration (1,128).”
Freeman says the media industry certainly devoted plenty of time during the Covid pandemic to instructing citizens that it was safer to live in areas ruled by coercion than ones reliant on individual judgment. Apparently, many Americans are just not listening! The Biden Census Bureau notes the remarkable trend of citizens moving into states governed by the most notorious liberty-loving villains of contemporary media:
“The South, with a population of 127,225,329, was the most populous of the four regions (encompassing 38.3% of the total national population) and was the only region that had positive net domestic migration of 657,682 (the movement of people from one area to another within the United States) between 2020 and 2021. The Northeast region, the least populous of the four regions with a population of 57,159,838 in 2021, experienced a population decrease of -365,795 residents due to natural decrease (-31,052) and negative net domestic migration (-389,638)…With a population of 29,527,941 in 2021, Texas had the largest annual and cumulative numeric gain, increasing by 310,288 (1.1%) and 382,436 (1.3%), respectively…
The largest net domestic migration gains were in Florida (220,890), Texas (170,307) and Arizona (93,026).”
Freeman recalls that television networks like CNN and MSNBC frequently lauded New York’s political leadership during the period studied, but for whatever reason, Americans on the move didn’t share the media’s opinion of Empire State governance. The Census Bureau notes:
“New York had the largest annual and cumulative numeric population decline, decreasing by 319,020 (1.6%) and 365,336 (1.8%), respectively. New York’s declining population in the last year was attributed to negative domestic migration (-352,185).”
This would seem to suggest that travelers forced to watch these programs in airport departure lounges aren’t taking them seriously. Freeman suggests they may even view them as cartoonish entertainment.
But don’t look for changes in places like the District of Columbia. According to a report in The Washington Post, “Meanwhile, the city is doing what it can to lure people back: Mayor Muriel E. Bowser this past week said coronavirus vaccines would be required for patrons to enter restaurants, gyms, and other businesses starting in mid-January, and a mask mandate was reinstated amid rising coronavirus case counts. These measures, said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio, are part of a long-term strategy to make D.C. visitors and residents feel secure. “We want to make sure when people come back and enjoy the vibrancy the city has to offer that they know we’ll put in more steps to make the city safe,” he said. “We’re on our way to a comeback.”
Freeman says, “And what better way is there to “enjoy the vibrancy” of a city than to be forced to wear a face covering? In the city that brought us protest tourism, perhaps all things are possible. But the latest Census data say that Americans prefer liberty.”
Once again, I am reminded it is a blessing to live in the free state of Florida.