JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - An American finance company is reporting while others in the nation are flocking to the Sunbelt, Mississippi is losing residents.
The study indicates that during the pandemic there were big moves to Texas, Florida and even increases in populations in neighboring Alabama and Tennessee.
Bankrate reports that Mississippi lost more than 11,000 residents during the pandemic from mid 2019-mid 2020.
The personal finance company based their information on census data, ranking the state 45th in the nation for population growth.
Mississippi Economic Council President and CEO Scott Waller said the loses are less than half a percent of the state’s population.
“This really shows that our state is basically flat in terms of growth, we’re not really losing a whole lot, but we’re not necessarily gaining,” said Waller. “What you’re seeing is other states around us have growth, and I think we’ve got to capitalize on what we’re doing here that we’re doing well and begin to see the same type of growth here in Mississippi.”
Waller said the answer to growth is jobs and education. Representative Earle Banks agrees and said millennials are a large number of the people leaving the state.
“People are moving to other places because they have better job opportunities and better income in other places. In Atlanta, in Dallas, in Houston,” said Banks. “That’s where you’re hearing about our young people are moving to. And we’re not competing on a basis to attract those type of businesses here to Mississippi.”
Both believe legislative efforts including incentives to attract new business and incentive programs focusing on retaining talent can help.
A more educated work force can also lead to population increases.