Special Report

This Is the State the Most People Are Leaving

Americans have become remarkably mobile in the past two years, with people changing cities and often states, too. And the state the most people are leaving is New Jersey.

Several reasons have increased the number of people who move. Among them has been a historically low mortgage rate – which makes housing less expensive – although that has begun to rise.  

Another reason is the cost of living. People are relocating from the large coastal cities to inland metros with lower home prices, lower costs of living, and ostensibly a better quality of life. People have left places such as San Francisco and New York City, for instance, where home prices are three times the national median. (These are the most expensive cities in which to buy a home.) 

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed millions of people to work from home. This, in turn, has created a culture that allows people to remain away from offices permanently.

The states and cities people have left (and gone to) vary widely. To provide an analysis of this, United Van Lines has released its 45th Annual National Movers Study, which reveals the top states people moved to and from last year. Researchers tracked migration patterns on a state-by-state basis, basing their study on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states (plus District of Columbia), and ranked them based on the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state. (Moving isn’t the only reason populations decrease. Deaths, decreased fertility rates, and reduced immigration are others. These are America’s fastest shrinking states.)

Click here to see the states the most people are leaving

New Jersey topped the list with 71% of the moves being outbound. It has held the top spot for four years. It was followed by Illinois at 67%. The state with the most inbound moves was Vermont, with 74%.

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