The primary reason for individuals fleeing these states included “cost,” “lifestyle,” “family,” and “job.”
The state with the highest number of outbound migrants last year was New Jersey. Of those involved in the moves, 70 percent fled New Jersey, compared to just 30 percent who moved in. The New York Post reported that “six of the top 10 metro areas suffering from the worst exodus were in the New York-New Jersey region.”
In second place came Illinois, which saw 67.2 percent of people involved in moves leaving the state. Conversely, just 32.8 percent of movers became new residents of Illinois in 2021.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's (D) New York was third in outbound migrants, with 63 percent of movers fleeing the Empire State compared to just 37 percent moving in. The leading reason for escaping New York was “family,” with nearly 30 percent of outbound movers citing that reason. Additionally, the survey revealed that high earners left the state in masses. Of those who made $150,000 or more, 43.5 percent fled the highly taxed state.
Fourth on the list was Gov. Ned Lamont's (D) Connecticut, who saw 60 percent of movers flee the state and just 40 percent incoming. Those fleeing Connecticut cited “retirement” as the primary reason for leaving, with 33 percent of movers citing that.
Capping out the top five outbound states was Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) California, which had similar numbers as Connecticut. Close to 60 percent of movers in California exited the state while almost 40 percent moved in.
An almost equal amount of Californians who fled the state cited “cost” and “lifestyle,” with nearly 22 percent of outbound movers citing both these reasons.
As Americans fled blue states amid increasing mandates and power-hungry municipalities, they escaped to rural and less densely populated states. Republican-led states like Vermont, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Florida made up the top five inbound states in that order.
When moving into these states, residents often opt for less densely populated areas as well. For example, instead of incoming Floridians moving to places like Orlando or Miami, they choose areas like Punta Gorda and Sarasota, which saw 81 percent and 79 percent of movers coming in, respectively.
According to economist and University of California, Los Angeles professor Michael Stoll:
This new data from United Van Lines is indicative of COVID-19's impact on domestic migration patterns, with 2021 bringing an acceleration of moves to smaller, mid-sized towns and cities. We're seeing this not only occur because of Americans' desire to leave high density areas due to risk of infection, but also due to the transformation of how we're able to work, with more flexibility to work remotely.