Rik W. Hafer

Earlier this year, Michael Rathbone and I published an essay examining migration trends for Missouri. We reported that over the past few years, more of Missouri’s income and residents have moved out of the state than have moved in.

The Statistics of Income Division (SOI) of the Internal Revenue Service publishes data that allow researchers to track migration patterns between states and Washington, D.C. The data just released by the IRS indicate that for the tax year 2012–2013, Missouri continued to lose income and residents to other states.

Missouri experienced a net outflow of adjusted gross income (AGI) based on individual tax forms filed. On net, over $61 million in income left the state in 2012–2013.Which states where the major recipients of our income? The left-hand panel of the table below provides the answer. (A complete ranking using all 50 states can be downloaded from the IRS website.)

Kansas, ninth on the list of where Missouri residents have (on net) relocated, is the number one destination state to which Missouri income fled. In 2012–2013, over $165 million in AGI found a new home in Kansas. Is it possible that tax cuts in Kansas had a bigger initial effect than many thought? This question is a clearly a worthy subject for future research.

Missouri also experienced a net outflow of total exemptions (i.e., tax filers and dependents) to other states in 2012–2013.Where did these 3,232 individuals go? The right-hand panel of the table below shows the top five destination states. (Again, a complete ranking using all 50 states is available at the IRS website.) Of the states to which Missouri has lost net population, Texas and Florida (both zero income tax states) are the top destination states, just as they were in 2010–2011.


Top 5 Destination Sites, Tax Year 2012–2013

Net Inflow*

Adjusted Gross Income
(thousands of dollars)

Total Exemptions






















About the Author

Rik Hafer
Research Fellow

Rik Hafer is a Show-Me Institute research fellow and a professor of economics and the Director of the Center for Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri.