Escape from New York…California, New Jersey, Illinois as Americans Flee Blue States, Here’s Why

If you live in the blue states of New York, California, New Jersey or Illiniois and think your friends are leaving you, don’t take it personally.  It’s not you.  According to North American Moving Services, in 2020, the mass exodus of people from America’s blue states is on the rise and residents of those states are fleeing.

The northeastern United States leads the nation in mass exodus.  Democrat Governors such as Andrew Cuomo in New York, Phil Murphy in New Jersey andTom Wolf in Pennsylvania instituted policies in those states that negatively impacted residents, causing a spike of fleeing residents in 2019, but in 2020, the policies by those governors during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the exodus.

“Northeastern states make up four out of the seven states with the most outbound moves, and none of them make the top eight for inbound moves. New York led the way, followed by New Jersey and Maryland. But California edged out Maryland for fourth place on the outbound list,” the NAMS report concluded. “Pennsylvania and Michigan also made the list, and both states have made the top 10 fairly consistently for the past few years. Maryland has made the list for outbound moves since 2015, and it has ranked between second and fifth places. In 2020, it took fifth place.”

One of the main reasons people are fleeing the northeast is because of jobs.  They were hard to find before COVID-19 and now, with many businesses shut down, restricted and operating at 25% capacity, jobs are even harder to find.

Here are 5 key observations in the report.

  •  People are fleeing California for Texas and Idaho
  • Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are the three states with the most outbound moves.
  • The top five inbound states in 2020 are Idaho, Arizona, Tennessee, South Carolina, and
  • North Carolina, with Tennessee overtaking South Carolina from the 2019 results.
  • Florida, Texas, and Colorado round out the top eight states for inbound moves.
  • Despite pandemic, people continued to move at rates comparable to 2019

“States in the south consistently rank well in the list of inbound moves. On average, states throughout the southeast, south and southwest continue to see their populations grow as more individuals relocate there than leave the region. Arizona and South Carolina have been in the top five inbound states since 2015,” according to the report. “Meanwhile, North Carolina and Tennessee have always been on the list but reached the top five in 2016. While Tennessee usually sat in fifth place or so, it is now in third place for inbound moves. Florida and Texas have also been in the top 12 since the first report in 2015.”

Each year, both states rose through the ranks. Now, Florida is in sixth place, and Texas is one point behind in seventh place. While Georgia was in the top eight for the first few years, it has fallen out of the top eight since 2018. Still, the south continues to dominate the inbound list. Even as Americans move to different states, southern sunbelt states will probably stay on the list for many years.

Why are people in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania heading south?

  • States in the south have experienced job growth due to companies relocating to or
    opening branches in the area. While the pandemic has changed things, there are still
    plenty of jobs in the south.
  •  Southern states like Texas, Florida, and Tennessee don’t have a state income tax.
    Arizona and the Carolinas have a state income tax, but rates are relatively low, not
    surpassing seven percent.
  •  Of course, the warmer weather is a draw for many people. Some states may have hot
    summers, but the mild winter is worth it for some.
  • For those seeking to avoid congested areas, the south offers a lot of open space and
    opportunity to live more rurally, but with access to common conveniences. This may
    have been particularly imp

Of all Western states, only California has consistently ranked in the top 10 for outbound moves since 2015. The percentage has fluctuated over time, but enough people continue to leave to make it stand out. California’s high cost of living could be the reason for so many outbound moves, along with a lack of affordable housing in some cities (San Francisco, for example, has an approximate 30+% of outbound versus inbound movers).