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January 3, 2018

If New Jersey seems a tad less crowded of late, you might be onto something. According to United Van Lines’ 2017 National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, New Jersey had an outbound migration rate of 63 percent. Simply said, of all the moves made in the Garden State, 63 percent were to somewhere else. Illinois was the only state with an equally high outbound rate, although more people moved from Illinois, which earned it the outbound crown.

New York (61 percent) and Connecticut (57 percent) made the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. Massachusetts (56 percent) reached the top of the outbound list this year.

Those making the outbound trek had numerous reasons for doing so: the most commonly cited was job (39 percent), followed by retirement (28 percent), lifestyle (21 percent), family (20 percent), and health (4 percent).

Despite all the talk about millennials moving out of state, 30 percent of those leaving were 55 to 64, while 28 percent were 64 or older. Millennials were mixed in with the 18-34 group (17 percent).

Perhaps the most distressing stats have to do with income: 42 percent of those leaving the state earn $150,000 or more a year. Twenty-two percent earned $100,000 to $149,999.

So where were all these folks headed? United Van Lines offers regional statistics. The Mountain West was the most popular destination for retirees, with one in four indicating they chose to move to this location for retirement. Top regions attracting movers taking new jobs included the Midwest (61 percent) and Pacific West (59 percent). The region with the largest exodus due to finding jobs elsewhere was the South (61 percent).

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