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Last year, more residents were moving out of New Jersey than into the state, as 70% of moves were outbound, according the 2020 National Migration Study by United Van Lines. This is the third consecutive year New Jersey has been ranked the top state for outbound moves.
The top primary reasons for leaving New Jersey, according to the survey, were: retirement (32.25% outbound vs. 6.78% inbound); and lifestyle (19.03% outbound vs. 6.78% inbound). Meanwhile, more people moved into New Jersey for job reasons than left the state (46.61% vs. 22.74% respectively).
The survey also reveals that those at the highest income levels were more likely to leave the state. For example, 49.2% of those earnings $150,000 or more left New Jersey vs. 37.3% of those at the same income levels who entered the state.
According to Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the survey reveals the state’s continued challenges regarding outmigration, which is impacted by high taxes and overall cost of living.
The Northeast region continues to see more residents leaving than moving in, with more than 60% of all moves within the Northeast U.S. being outbound moves. Three New Jersey regions also ranked among the nation’s top five metropolitan areas with outbound moves: Bergen-Passaic (81% outbound), Trenton (76% outbound) and Newark (72% outbound). The study also revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic factored into and accelerated many decisions to move.
The top outbound states for 2020 were: New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Kansas, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Maryland.
Among the top inbound states were: Idaho, South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Arizona.
The 44th Annual United Van Lines National Migration Study bases destination ranking off the percentage of inbound and outbound state moves compared to overall state moves. The inbound and outbound rankings in this year’s study only reflect states with 250 or more moves with United Van Lines.