(The Center Square) – Maryland suffered one of the highest rates of outmigration in 2020, according to a report that studied population trends during the pandemic-fueled year.

Wirepoints, an Illinois-based research and commentary organization, delved into population fluctuations in its latest analysis, using Internal Revenue Service data as the backdrop for its findings.

According to IRS 2020 filings, Maryland ranked No. 42 in migration trends, indicating population loss. The state lost 168,549 IRS filers in 2020 and gained 148,240 new ones, resulting in a net deficit of 20,309 people.

The amount of adjusted gross income funneled into Maryland in 2020 also followed a similar downward trajectory.

According to the IRS data, $8.22 billion in adjusted gross income left the state in 2020, while $6.37 billion was brought in, resulting in a net deficit of $1.85 billion.

The recent outmigration data in Maryland follows a trend that had been detected by a state agency prior to COVID-19’s onset.

A 2019 report from the Maryland Department of Planning touched on outmigration trends within the state.

“Over the last seven years, Maryland ‘s population has grown, but at a slower rate than the United States,” the report stated, looking at data from 2018 and prior years. “Current estimates indicate this trend continues with no abatement soon.”

According to the Wirepoints analysis, New York suffered the highest rate of outmigration and adjusted gross income in 2020.

Wirepoints authors Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner in a report outlined the impact trending population outmigration can have on a state’s overall fiscal health.

“The problem with chronic outflows, like in the case of New York, is that one year’s losses don’t only affect the tax base the year they leave, but they also hurt all subsequent years,” Dabrowski and Klinger wrote. “The losses pile up on top of each other, year after year.”

Maryland’s total 2020 population loss, according to the IRS findings, resulted in a 0.3% decline in year-over-year comparisons.

New York shed a total of 2.5% of its 2019 population the following year when all was said and done. Illinois, which lost the second-highest amount of its residents in the heaviest pandemic year, incurred population declines of 1.9%, followed by Alaska at 1.3%, California at 1.2%, and North Dakota at 1%.

All of Maryland’s neighbors fared better in the 2020 analysis.

Delaware’s population increased 0.1%, while Pennsylvania and West Virginia each were essentially flat. Virginia’s population declined by 0.1%.

Across the U.S., Idaho gained the most in population in 2020 (2%), followed by Arizona, Montana, and South Carolina at 1.1%.


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