Politics plays a big role in our lives these days. More and more, there are individuals questioning the degree in which the Government is involved in their lives. Whether it's income taxes, social causes, public education or healthcare. Most Republicans and even many Democrat voters are seeking less Government interference in their lives and local policies that keep their communities safe and thriving.
A recent Gallup poll showed residents in more than half of U.S. states are more likely to identify as "conservative" than "liberal" in their political ideology. Whether that trend is here to stay is requires an entirely separate article.
Based on the Gallup study, there are 19 states deemed “highly conservative,” that is, where conservatives outnumber liberals by at least 20 percentage points.
How COVID impacted where families move
Post- COVID, we've seem moving patterns emerge that have led to considerable population growth and in-migration for several conservative-leaning states. For example, states like Montana, Idaho and South Carolina have seen growth rates 3-5x higher post-COVID than pre-COVID.
As many office-goers have shifted to a remote-first working environment, families have more choices that ever in terms of cities from where they can still make a great living while working from home.
Fastest growing states since 2020
This list includes growth rates of both conservative and liberal states that have experienced the biggest population and in-migration growth since 2020. For some, this could be a leading indicator in terms of level of popularity. In contrast, if you're considering moving and want to avoid a "crowded" state or city, this might be a factor to consider.
That being said, these states are attractive for a variety of reasons - including weather, home prices, job growth and even political influence and governance:
- Utah - 1.53%
- Idaho - 1.45%
- Texas - 1.35%
- North Dakota - 1.35%
- Nevada - 1.28%
- Colorado - 1.27%
- Washington - 1.26%
- Florida - 1.25%
- Arizona - 1.05%
- South Carolina - 0.95%
Best Conservative States to Move to
Florida tops our list of places to move because of its versatility. It offer large cities, small towns, and of course - beaches! It has fantastic job growth and relatively low home prices in most cities outside of parts of Miami. Learn more about the best places to live in Florida.
It's tough to beat the beauty of the Utah mountains. Salt Lake City offers a diverse blend of moderates, conservatives and progressives. But the state overall is conservative and is also home of the Mormon Church/Latter Day Saints organization.
Idaho saw a huge population boom in recent years, post-COVID, due to thousands who moved from Seattle to seek more conservative communities.
Known as the "Volunteer State", Tennessee offers a little bit of everything - affordable homes, mountains, and a mix of small towns and big cities. For example, Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities, with a great music and technology scene and several great colleges, such as Vanderbilt University.
Alabama is known for more than just college football (roll tide!). Birmingham has a thriving downtown and southern Alabama sits on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Huntsville is a satellite for NASA space research and employees hundreds in the aerospace industry.
6. South Dakota
South Dakota’s population is continuing to rise and the state jumped 14 spots in the U-Haul Growth Index to No. 11 on the list of states that people are moving to. U-Haul notes that South Dakota’s fastest growing cities are Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
With natural beauty all around, South Dakota boasts iconic attractions like Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. In addition, the state has some of the nation's best hunting and fishing.
Wyoming is one of the smallest states in terms of population, but the state is currently enjoying one of the highest growth rates in the country - driven by natural gas jobs in the area and an unemployment rate well below the country's average.
Like South Dakota, the state boasts some of the best natural scenery in the US, and offers dozens of safe, charming towns. Wyoming is known for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. Wyoming is famous for cowboy culture, reminiscent of the popular television series "Yellowstone."
10. South Carolina
11. North Dakota
Crime & Taxes
Another interesting view into the dynamics between conservative and liberal states is taxes - both income taxes, states and local taxes and also property taxes. On average, the 10 most "conservative" states have 9-38% lower taxes when compared to the 10 most liberal states.
In terms of crime, the data is a mixed bag of results. Some of the liberal states have crime rates that are higher than the national average, but many so-called conservative states also suffer from crime rates that are higher than the national average. Because crime is often focused within a city rather than a state, we've developed a list of best conservative cities in the US.
States with Republican Governors
One factor that seems to influence the political and social environment of a state is the party that holds the Governor's office. This can be a proxy for understanding the direction or at least the views of most of the state's citizens. That being said, it is not in and of itself the sole factor for evaluating whether a state is conservative - leaning or not.
The list below identifies states with Republican Governors in the US as of November 2022:
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Based on all of our research, we've concluded that the most conservative states are Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, Wyoming and West Virginia. By contrast, the most liberal states are Massachussetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, California and New York.