Economic policy matters, but it isn’t everythingÃ¢â?¬â??there are, after all, lots of low tax, low reg places that aren’t booming. Then again, population growth can come to some unlikely places, like South Dakota, where the state tax burden is the nation’s second lowest:
Over the years examined [1995-2000], the 10 states with the lowest overall tax burdens (Alaska, New Hampshire, Delaware, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, and Colorado, respectively) enjoyed a total net gain of more than 1,300,000 residents resulting from across-state migration. The nine states and the District of Columbia with the highest total tax burdens suffered a total net loss of more than 1,700,000 residents as a result of migration.
[T]wo rural South Dakota counties are among the nation’s 10 fastest-growing counties from 2003 to 2004: Lincoln County (pop. 31,437), south of Sioux Falls, and tiny Hanson County (pop. 3,786), 45 miles to the west. Sioux Falls, site of Citibank’s first credit card processing center, has attracted Internet and biotech companies. The number of jobs rose about 28% to 119,000 from 1994 to 2004, says Joel Kotkin, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a research group. The jobs are luring back young people who moved to big cities such as Chicago, he says. When they reach their 30s and have kids, “they feel they can’t have good quality of life in those urban centers because of price. … They’re also coming back to a convenient thing called grandparents.”