November 26, 2019 | Number of The Day
Residents planning on saying ‘so long’ to Garden State in not-so-distant future

As New Jersey families gather around the Thanksgiving table, the talk may not turn to Trump, or sea-level rise or making ends meet in the gig economy — but to plans for saying goodbye to the Garden State. According to a recent survey conducted for the Garden State Initiative and Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Public & Global Affairs, 44% of New Jersey residents are planning to leave the state in the not-so-distant future, with more than one in four (28%) planning to depart within five years.

Unsurprisingly, property taxes and the overall cost of living were cited as the main drivers. The results also debunk two issues frequently cited in anecdotal accounts of outmigration, weather and public transportation: they ranked 8th and 10th, respectively, out of 11 factors.

The desire to leave was most prevalent among residents between the ages of 18 and 29. Almost 40% expect to be leaving within the next five years. At the other end of the spectrum, a third (33%) of those nearing retirement (50-64) plan to leave within the next five years.