Some states are having a hard time keeping current residents happy.
Out-migration from the Golden State more than doubled as the state experienced the largest reduction in population in the United States in 2021. Oregon also saw its first decline in population in almost 40 years. Further inland, in the Great Lakes region, Minnesota experienced its largest population decline in 30 years.
There are a number of factors that can help explain these declines. Some people might grow tired of Minnesota winters. Housing prices might be out of reach for many California residents.
But another contributing factor could be occupational licensing. Oregon and Minnesota both rank in the top 10 in terms of burdensome occupational licensing, according to the 2023 State Occupational Licensing Index report that we recently published. California just missed the top 10 list, clocking in at number 11 in the national ranking.