New Jersey, New York lose the most movers to other states in 2020, study shows

The country’s highest-taxed states lost the largest number of residents in 2020, at a time when remote work provided opportunities for people to relocate.

New Jersey had the most outbound moves for the third year in a row. About 70% of movers left the state, according to new data from moving company United Van Lines.

New York and Illinois trailed New Jersey, with 67% of movers leaving both states. They were followed by Connecticut (63%) and California (59%).

Four of these states ranked among the top 10 in a recent study of those with the greatest tax burdens in 2020. California was ranked at 13 and New York ranked at No. 1.

California data showed that 135,600 more people left the state than moved in, marking the third-largest migration loss in the state’s history.

CALIFORNIA LOSES HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS IN 2020 

On the flip side, the states with the highest amount of inbound moves were Idaho, South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Arizona.

“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement.

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The study also found that hotspot metro areas like New York and Chicago experienced greater outbound migration when compared with lower-density cities.

The most frequently cited reason among movers was a new job or a job transfer (40%), and 27% said they moved to be closer to family. The latter percentage is up markedly from years prior.

The pandemic also played into people’s decisions to move. Wellbeing, proximity to family and changes in work status (including remote work opportunities) ranked as the top three pandemic-related motivators.

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