Midwest lost more than 400,000 people to other U.S. regions between 2020 and 2022

During the first two years of this decade, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio lost population, and another six Midwestern states lagged behind the U.S. increase of 0.6 percent. Driving these trends are losses in people due to domestic migration: the movement of individuals from one U.S. state to another state.

States in the U.S. South (led by Florida and Texas) gained more than 1.7 million people due to domestic migration between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2022. Every other region experienced a net loss, including the Midwest, which had a net decline of more than 400,000 residents. In all, nine Midwestern states are losing population due to domestic migration (see the map), though Illinois stands out: Its net loss was third highest in the nation, behind only California and New York, and accounted for 68 percent of the region’s total drop.

Along with domestic and international migration, population changes are determined by a state’s number of births compared to its number of deaths. Historically, most or all U.S. states have experienced “natural increases”: more births than deaths. In recent years, however, “natural decreases” have become more common. Between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2022, the number of deaths exceeded births in 24 U.S. states, including Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin (see map).

Nationwide, between 2020 and 2021, the population grew at a historically low rate of 0.1 percent, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international migration and mortality. The increase between 2021 and 2022 was 0.4 percent.

A rebound in net international migration, along with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007, led to the “sizeable uptick” in U.S. population numbers between 2021 and 2022, says U.S. Census Bureau demographer Kristie Wilder. All 11 Midwestern states had a net gain in population from international migration.


Overall population change in Midwestern states, April 2020-July 2022, tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau

State% change








North Dakota0.0%


South Dakota+2.6%



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On the Road with CSG West: Wyoming

Boots and bolo ties were in full swing at the Wyoming State Capitol, as CSG West kicked off its 2023 state visits in the Cowboy State. The visit provided staff an opportunity to engage with legislators and legislative leaders about CSG West events, programs, and training opportunities this year, including the Colorado River Forum to be hosted in Wyoming.

CSG West staff enjoyed meetings with House Speaker Albert Sommers and Senate President Ogden Driskill, who will appoint members to CSG West committees for the 2023-24 biennium, and who shared insights into current policy priorities in the state. 

The visit was also an opportunity to connect with Wyoming policymakers engaged in CSG West leadership or co-chair roles, including Representative Mike Yin, CSG West Vice-Chair and Wyoming’s House Minority Floor Leader; Representative Landon Brown, Westrends Co-Chair; Senator Eric Barlow, Energy & Environment Committee Co-Chair; and Senator Larry Hicks, Colorado River Forum Co-Chair. 

The visit concluded on a high note with CSG West hosting its annual lunch for Western Legislative Academy (WLA) alumni and interested applicants. The strong turnout was evidence of the enduring relationships built through WLA and its continued reputation as the region’s premier legislative training program.

CSG West was grateful for the floor introductions by Senator Barlow and Representative Yin, respectively, and for the warm welcome to the Wyoming Legislature. We look forward to Wyoming’s leadership and engagement in 2023!

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Capital Closeup: In the Midwest, varying methods and thresholds are used to amend state constitutions

How high should the bar be set for adding to or changing a state’s constitution?

It’s a question that some political leaders in Ohio say is worth re-examining in their state, one of five in the Midwest where constitutional amendments don’t need legislative approval before appearing before voters for final passage. Their idea: Raise the bar, via a constitutional change requiring citizen-initiated/petition-based amendments to get 60 percent of the statewide vote, rather than a simple majority. Proponents unveiled their proposal near the tail end of last year and are pursuing its passage in 2023. They cite several reasons for the higher threshold, including to protect the Ohio Constitution from “special interests and out-of-state activists.”

In 2018, South Dakotans rejected a legislatively referred proposal that would have required constitutional amendments to get 55 percent of the statewide vote. The proposal was based on a Colorado law. This past year, the South Dakota Legislature sought voter approval of a 60 percent requirement for any ballot measures that increase taxes. This proposed amendment failed as well.

Once a proposed citizen-initiated or legislatively referred amendment reaches the ballot, it only needs simple-majority approval in most U.S. states. However, there are exceptions — for example, Colorado’s 55 percent threshold, a two-thirds vote in New Hampshire, and a 60 percent vote in Florida, according to Ballotpedia.

In the Midwest, a few states have slight variations on the simple-majority requirement. In Illinois, a constitutional amendment gets passed in one of two ways: approval by three-fifths of the people voting on the question or a majority of all those who voted in the election. The latter requirement also applies in Minnesota. In Nebraska, only a simple-majority vote is needed, but with a stipulation that the number of votes in favor of the amendment equal at least “35 percent of the total votes cast at such election.”

States also are split on the threshold for legislatures to refer constitutional amendments to voters — super-majority votes in Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio (three-fifths) and Kansas and Michigan (two-thirds). The region’s six other states require only simple-majority votes for legislative referrals, though approval by successive legislatures is needed in Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.

In 2022, a total of 14 proposed constitutional amendments appeared before voters in eight Midwestern states.

According to the nonpartisan, nonprofit research group Open Secrets, the five proposals generating the most spending were:

A citizen-initiated amendment in Michigan guaranteeing a right to an abortion ($46.4 million); it passed.
A legislatively referred amendment in Illinois guaranteeing a right to collective bargaining ($14.5 million); it passed.
A citizen-initiated amendment in Michigan to enshrine certain voting rights and policies ($14.1 million); it passed.
A legislatively initiated amendment in Kansas to declare no state constitutional right to an abortion ($13.2 million); it did not pass.
A legislatively referred amendment in South Dakota establishing a super-majority requirement for ballot measures that increase taxes ($2.7 million); it did not pass.

Capital Closeup is an ongoing series of articles focusing on institutional issues in state governments and legislatures.

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Private: Tools for States to Address Crime

State leaders—governors, legislators, and agency officials—share the goal of advancing safety and justice. To be successful, they need facts about the challenges in their states and practical, research-backed strategies. But the data we need to address these challenges are scattered across agencies and are often not made public soon enough to be useful, if at all. As a result, many leaders are clamoring for solutions. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has developed two key tools to help state leaders make public safety decisions this year: (1) the latest 50-state data on crime, arrests, and prison populations and (2) 10 strategies states can use to lower crime.  

Learn more: https://projects.csgjusticecenter.org/tools-for-states-to-address-crime/ 

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BILLD graduates leading the way in their state legislatures in 2023

One marker of success of the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) has been the ascension over the years of many graduates to leadership positions.

The year 2023 is no exception.

Sessions began with more than 50 BILLD graduates in legislative leadership positions of some kind in the 11-state Midwest, including 18 alumni serving as the top party leader, majority floor leader, and/or presiding officer in a chamber.

Now in its 28th year, BILLD, a signature program of CSG Midwest’s Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC), is designed for state and provincial legislators in their first four years of legislative service. Its highly interactive curriculum includes a series of leadership training courses, policy seminars and professional development workshops.

The 2023 institute will be held Aug. 18-22; the deadline to apply for a BILLD fellowship is April 17. The program’s competitive application process is overseen by the MLC’s BILLD Steering Committee, a bipartisan group of legislators from each of the MLC member states.

Learn more about BILLD and the application process »

Nearly 1,000 legislators have now gone through the program. Many have gone on to serve as leaders in their legislatures and state executive branches; others are now members of the U.S. Congress.

Congratulations to the BILLD graduates selected to legislative leadership this year.

Here is a list of the 18 alumni serving as the top party leader, majority floor leader, and/or presiding officer in a chamber in their respective legislature.

Senate president or House speaker


Majority or minority party leader


Majority or minority party floor leader


Senate President Pro Tempore or House Speaker Pro Tempore



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Expanding Healthcare Access: Undesignated Glucagon in Schools

By Sandi Abdelshehed and Daniel Clothier

In 2018, registered nurse Jennifer Jacobs attempted to treat a middle school student experiencing symptomatic hypoglycemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar. She first used snacks to try to increase the seventh-grader’s blood sugar, but the student ultimately lost consciousness. Jacobs also attempted to use glucose gel inside the student’s cheek, but application of the medication was ineffective. As a last resort, she used her only accessible glucagon kit belonging to another student.

Jacobs, who for 21 years has been a certified school nurse at Glenview Middle School in East Moline, Illinois, administered the glucagon knowing it was prohibited and could put her license and career in jeopardy.

“I chose to use a life-saving medication to treat her; however, it was prescribed for another student,” Jacobs said. “Knowing full well I could get fired, I knew it was the only answer to this situation. How could I not? Her life in my hands was larger than anything else.”

Recognizing a school nurse should not have to risk their career to treat a student, Jacobs worked to instill change in Illinois state policy.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects 37.3 million American adults and is one of the major causes of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. The number of people with diabetes has also increased exponentially over recent decades.

Individuals with Type 1 diabetes suffer from symptomatic hypoglycemia, on average, twice a week. It occurs when sugar (glucose) levels drop in the person’s blood. If left untreated, diabetic hypoglycemia can cause seizures, unconsciousness and, at times, death. Glucagon injections can be used as an emergency medicine to treat severe hypoglycemia  

Access to this life-saving medication has become an equity issue as it sometimes poses financial or logistical challenges for families with children with diabetes. Families with limited financial resources or insurance coverage may not be able to supply the medication to their children’s school, increasing the chances of adverse outcomes in school settings.

To help address this issue, Jacobs worked with Illinois state Rep. Michael Halpin and Sen. Neil Anderson. The two policymakers sponsored HB0822, allowing school nurses or delegated care aides to administer undesignated glucagon through a student’s diabetes care plan if the student’s prescribed glucagon is unavailable on-site or has expired. The bill passed unanimously through the state Legislature and was signed into law on Aug. 19, 2019.

Policies such as the undesignated glucagon law represent examples of bipartisan policy solutions that can improve health care equity and access to care across states. After Illinois became the first state to pass an undesignated glucagon law, Ohio followed suit with the Allison Rose Act, HB231. Other states have since considered their own legislation.

Expanding Rural Apprenticeship in Maine

The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation recently responded to a research request on rural apprenticeship programs in Maine. The findings of this request are available below.

Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway proven to benefit both workers and employers. Registered Apprenticeship programs consist of supervised, on-the-job training related technical instruction to supplement experiential learning and the acquisition of an industry-recognized credential. Apprenticeship programs can increase worker retention rates for employers and overall lifetime earnings for apprentices. However, these programs are often inaccessible to learners in rural communities.

Long distances between home and work, a lack of transportation options and inadequate internet access to connect to related instruction are just a few factors that can limit the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs in rural communities. Additionally, smaller employers operating in rural communities may lack the capacity to manage the administrative responsibilities of apprenticeship programs. As a result, rural learners often miss out on the benefits of apprenticeship like mentorship and a progressive wage scale. In return, employers lose the opportunity to train and retain their own workforce.

Rural learners often miss out on the benefits of apprenticeship

Maine has made strides in promoting apprenticeship as a workforce development tool in rural communities. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau definitions of urban and rural areas, Registered Apprenticeship programs exist in 10 of 11 of Maine’s rural counties. Across these 10 counties, there are 33 sponsors of 64 Registered Apprenticeship programs. The rural county with the most apprenticeships is Sagadahoc, with seven sponsors of 27 apprenticeship programs. The rural county with the second-highest number of apprenticeships is Somerset with 12.


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State Executive Salaries: Regional and State-level Comparisons

By Caroline Wills and Rebecca Halpryn

The annual salaries for the five highest-ranking state-level executive positions- governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer- have considerable variation. CSG’s annual publication The Book of the States is a comprehensive resource for state policymakers containing in-depth information that is comparable to all 50 states on a variety of major aspects of state government operations. Within The Book of the States, Table 4.11 “Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries” provides the annual salaries for selected state administrative officials in all 50 states. The Council of State Governments collects this data annually by surveying state executive branches.  

Overview of State Executive Positions

In state governments, governors are directly elected by constituents to head the executive branch. Governors are responsible for managing state executive branches and overseeing the implementation of state laws. On behalf of the state, governors serve as intergovernmental liaisons to the federal government. Additional powers and duties by state for governors can be found in Table 4.4 and 4.5.

The lieutenant governor serves as the second-highest executive office, is usually subordinate to the governor, and typically assumes the gubernatorial role when governor is absent from office. Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Wyoming do not have a lieutenant governor position. More information about the lieutenant governor’s powers and duties are available within Table 4.14 in The Book of the States.

The secretary of state is usually the third in the line of succession and is responsible for overseeing all state and local elections within a state. The secretary of state in an executive state branch also has additional registration, custodial, publication, legislative and administrative powers and duties (The Book of the States: Table 4.17 & 4.18). In Alaska, Hawaii and Utah, the secretary of state position does not exist. In Utah and Alaska, the lieutenant governor takes on most of the duties of the secretary of state.

The state attorney general (The Book of the States: Tables 4.21, 4.22, & 4.23) serves as the chief legal officer and law enforcement within a state advocating for the public interest by representing their state legislature and agencies. In a majority of states, the attorney general has significant influence on how a state undertakes law enforcement procedures and services.

In an executive office, the treasurer (The Book of the States: Table 4.26) typically serves as a state’s chief financial officer by overseeing a state’s revenue and finances responsible for ensuring the safety and security of a state’s money. In Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana and Texas, the treasurer’s duties are taken on by other officials.  

Map 1: Governor Salary as a Percentage of the National Average, 2022

The average annual gubernatorial salary across all 50 states in 2022 is $148,939, a 4.12% increase from 2021. At the state-level, New York has the highest gubernatorial salary at $250,000 whereas Maine has the lowest gubernatorial salary at $70,000. Computing the average gubernatorial salary by CSG region shows that governors in the East region earn the highest salary, $170,545, on average compared to the other regions, South, $149,060, Midwest, $139,520 and West, $138,487. The difference between the highest and lowest regional averages for the annual gubernatorial salary is $32,508, whereas the difference between New York and Maine is $180,000.

Map 2: Lieutenant Governor Salary as a Percentage of the National Average, 2022

The average annual lieutenant gubernatorial salary across the 45 states with lieutenant governors in 2022 is $108,380, a 0.28% decrease from 2021. New York has the highest lieutenant governor salary at $220,000 compared to Texas, which has the lowest salary at $7,200. The highest-paid lieutenant governor earns $212,800 more per year than the lowest-paid lieutenant governor. The CSG East region has the highest average lieutenant gubernatorial salary at $142,922 compared to the CSG South region, which has the lowest average salary at $78,274. This is a difference of $64,648.

Across all 47 states, the 2022 average salary for the secretary of state position is $121,628, a 2.95% annual increase from 2021. Arizona has the lowest annual salary at $70,000 while Tennessee has the highest salary at $222,252 for the secretary of state position. The CSG region with the highest average salary for a secretary of state is the Eastern region at $137,041, and the CSG region with the lowest is the Midwestern region at $103,946. 

The average salary for state attorney general in 2022 is $139,075 across all 50 states, a 1.05% annual increase from 2021. Oregon has the lowest annual salary for an attorney general at $82,220 and New York has the highest salary at $220,000. The difference between New York and Oregon is $137,780. A CSG regional analysis indicates the Eastern region has the highest average salary for the attorney general position, $155,126, while the Midwestern region has the lowest at $125,841. 

The average annual salary for treasurer in 2022 across all 45 states is $126,015, a 2.15% increase from $123,358 in 2021. The state with the lowest salary for Treasurer is Arizona at $70,000 and the state with the highest salary is Tennessee at $222,252. The CSG East region has the highest average salary, $143,298, for the treasurer position while the Midwest region has the lowest, $110,124. 

Data notes:

  • Annual salaries reported do not include benefits and other compensation for selected state officeholders. General wage and salary adjustments for officials within states’ executive branches are automatically increased with the rate of inflation or must be negotiated and legislatively approved.  
  • Connecticut was the only state that did not respond to the 2022 CSG Survey of State Personnel Agencies and State Salary Databases, data from the 2021 CSG SPA&SSD Survey was used.
  • The Council of State Governments Regions are defined by the regional offices and the states as listed below:
    • West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
    • Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
    • South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
    • East: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Southern Pulse Newsletter, January 2023


Hello 2023! After a much-needed holiday break celebrating with our loved ones, the CSG South team is refreshed and ready to kick off an event-packed year. We hope you and yours enjoyed the respite as much as we did!

January means a new year, but for many of our states, it also means the 2023 legislative session has begun. Like the morning toll signaling members to convene in their chambers, the green light has signaled our staffers to kick off State Visit season!

Over the next few months, we will be visiting YOUR State Capitol – January 18-19th (Virginia),January 24-25th (West Virginia), January 30th-Febuary 1st (Arkansas), Feb 6-8th (Missouri), Feb 14-15th (Kentucky), Feb 21st-23rd (Mississippi), Feb 28th-March 1st (Texas), March 7-8th (Oklahoma), March 14-15th (North Carolina), March 28-30th (South Carolina), April 4-5th (Florida), April 10-12th (Tennessee), April 18-20th (Louisiana), and April 25-26th (Alabama).  We will also be visiting Georgia throughout the session as it is right down the road from CSG South.  Our staff will be reaching out to your offices via phone and email to schedule meetings to discuss your legislative priorities this year and offer our assistance as a nonpartisan extension of your office. We will also tell you about all the exciting programs and leadership development opportunities planned this year.  We know you’re busy – so if your schedule is packed, just grab us in the halls or wave us down from the floor! We’ll leave you with all the information you need to get a hold of us via phone and email.

As always, keep your finger on the pulse by checking back on our website, newsletter, and social media for continual updates on State Visit dates, policy publications and requests, programs and so much more. We can’t wait to see you!

Click here to read Southern Pulse- January 2023

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