Louisiana may be rich in natural resources like oil and gas, seafood and soybeans, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state’s population grew by only 2.7% over the past decade — to 4.66 million in 2020 — compared to the national average of 7.4%. (Here’s how every state’s population has changed since 2010.)
This lackluster population growth is due partially to southern Louisiana’s ties to the energy sector (the state is the nation’s ninth-largest oil producer). When oil prices crashed below $30 a barrel in 2016 (the same year the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, flooded catastrophically), sending some residents fleeing permanently to other states.
In addition, much of the northern part of the state — away from the oil rigs, refineries, and coastal aquaculture — has stagnated economically for decades.
The tourism powerhouse of New Orleans also experienced its first decline in population, between 2016 and 2018, since a spurt of post-disaster recovery following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Here are America’s fastest-shrinking cities.)
Where are the people who move out of Louisiana going? To find out, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed state-to-state migration flows from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, revealing the number of people living in other states (or Washington D.C.) in 2019 who had lived in Louisiana the previous year.
It turns out that, while they might be leaving their state, most Louisianans don’t stray far from home. The two states they choose the most — Texas and Mississippi — are their immediate neighbors, and eight out of the top ten are in the South.
To identify where people from Louisiana are moving to most, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed state-to-state migration flows from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, revealing the number of people living in other states (or Washington D.C.) in 2019 who had lived in Louisiana the previous year. State population and population change figures are based on one-year estimates from the ACS (five-year estimates for Washington D.C.)
“Data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. The degree of uncertainty for an estimate arising from sampling variability is represented through the use of a margin of error. The value shown here is the 90 percent margin of error. The margin of error can be interpreted roughly as providing a 90 percent probability that the interval defined by the estimate minus the margin of error and the estimate plus the margin of error (the lower and upper confidence bounds) contains the true value. In addition to sampling variability, the ACS estimates are subject to nonsampling error…. The effect of nonsampling error is not represented in these tables.”