(The Center Square) — New Jersey topped the nation for outmigration in 2023, with more people moving out than into the state, according to a new independent study.
The United Van Lines 2023 National Movers study found that 64.9% of New Jersey migration last year was outbound compared to 35% coming into the state. The top reason for leaving was retirement, comprising about 27% of the outbound residents, hello by family and job reasons. Only 4.5% said they were leaving because of the cost of living.
The top income bracket for people leaving New Jersey were those earning $150,000 or more, which constituted 52% of those leaving, according to the report. Those earning $100,000 to $149,000 were among the second highest group departing, or 21.70%, the report noted.
Other states that saw high levels of outmigration in 2023 included Illinois, North Dakota, New York, Michigan and California, according to the report’s authors.
The United Van Lines study showed Vermont as the highest growth state, followed by Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Arkansas and Rhode Island.
Overall, the report’s authors said the data indicates that many Americans are moving eastbound and southbound and seeking less expensive areas with comparable amenities to larger metropolitan centers.
“We are continuing to see the trend that Americans are moving to more affordable, lower-density areas across the country, with many heading to Southern states,” United Van Lines Vice President of Corporate Communications Eily Cummings said in a statement.
“Movers are also becoming more strategic with their planning, as relocation continues to be driven by factors such as the price of housing, regional climates, urban planning and job growth,” he added.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by U-Haul on Wednesday ranked New Jersey 47th lowest in the nation for in-migration, dropping several spots from a previous study.
The U-Haul report, based on the net gain or loss of one-way equipment from customer transactions, listed Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York as the other bottom-five states for growth in 2023.
Texas, Florida and North Carolina top the list for inward migration in the previous year, according to the report.
“While one-way transactions in 2023 remained below the record-breaking levels we witnessed immediately following the pandemic, we continued to see many of the same geographical trends from U-Haul customers moving between states,” John “J.T.” Taylor, U-Haul’s president, said in a statement. “Migration to states in the Southeast and Southwest is still very pronounced.”