People Are Leaving New Jersey, Moving To Vermont

Americans became more mobile over the last three years as mortgage rates fell and more people could work from home. A recent survey shows the states Americans left and those they moved to in the greatest numbers. The state the most people moved from versus moved to was New Jersey. Vermont was at the other end of the list.

The United Van Lines National Movers Study is in its 46th year. United is among America’s largest movers, making the survey a good benchmark. The results are based on simple metrics. How many people left a state compared to how many people moved there.

New Jersey has topped the list of states people are leaving for five years. Specifically, the study pointed out that “more residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state, as 67% of New Jersey moves were outbound, which is down from the five-year trend of 70%.”

The states behind New Jersey were Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. It may be a coincidence, but these were among the states with the highest populations half a century ago. Since then, the large states with the most population growth have been California, Texas, and Florida.

Based on the study, it appears that the large states measured by population, in general, are no longer the ones with the most inbound versus outbound movers. The state with the largest positive ratio was Vermont, followed by Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Delaware. Each of these has a relatively small population. Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, commented, “Key factors like retirement, wanting to be closer to family and lifestyle changes influenced by the pandemic along with current housing prices drove moving patterns in 2022.” Rhode Island and Delaware seem odd places to retire.

A recession often rearranges where people move and why. High mortgage rates may cut the ability to move in the next few years. Unemployment rates have a similar effect. Maybe next year more people will stay put.

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