JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - There are fewer folks in the Magnolia state. Mississippi’s population was on the upswing from 2011 to 2014, but three out of the last four years, we’ve been shrinking.
An informal poll of Mississippians may yield a lackluster description on what the state has to offer.
“There’s no jobs here," said Ollie Jackson. "No entertainment. Nothing.”
“I could see that Mississippi would grow if we just get jobs down here that would keep the people here,” said Cedric Friday. “We’ve always got to have something here that will keep people here because there’s really nothing here and they’re leaving in droves.”
Mississippi lost more than 3,100 residents between 2017 and 2018. That’s not as much as the 10,000 plus in Louisiana.
Tennessee’s population, on the other hand, has surged with more than 61,000 new residents.
“I really wasn’t too surprised," admitted Erin Scoggin. "Just generally when I first think about, Tennessee is bigger, has more opportunity and probably is just a little bit nicer area if I had to guess.”
State Senator Hillman Frazier says the legislature needs to address the underlying issues.
“We’ve got to make sure we have things in place to grow our economy, to create jobs, and to attract our young people," said Frazier. "Look at places like Tennessee, Nashville is booming. Look at Georgia, Atlanta is booming. It’s because they’re creating jobs and opportunities for young people there.”
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy makes note that this migration trend shows that people are leaving progressive income tax states and moving to income tax free states like Tennessee.
Folks we spoke with think it’s all the state’s challenges combined that have folks eyeing other states.