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  • Writer's picturejimshorkey

Americans Are Leaving Their Homes For A Better Life: Top 5 States Being Abandoned

New Jersey

For the fifth consecutive year, New Jersey was the Number 1 state Americans chose to leave in 2022. The top reasons cited for leaving were retirement (32%) and being closer to family (32%). Getting a new job was also a motivator (20%).

A poll by Monmouth University last year found that a record 59% of New Jerseyans would like to move "at some point," which is an increase from previous polls. This could be due to the high property tax burden.


For Illinoisans, the choice came down to moving for a new job (31%), family (30%), retirement (24%) and a new lifestyle (22%).

This marked almost a decade of straight losses for Illinois. Nearly 52% of those who left the state in 2022 earned more than $150,000 a year. Illinois has one of the highest combined local and state tax rates, and the second-highest property taxes in the country.

New York

Retirement topped the list as the main reason New Yorkers left (31%), with lifestyle and family tied for second (28%).

Forty-nine percent of residents earning more than $150,000 chose to leave the state, with 37% aged 65 or older. With rents climbing and high taxes, it is easy to see why many choose to leave the Empire State.


The top two reasons for leaving Michigan were family (33%) and a new job (30%). Cost does not seem to be a huge factor, with just 2% of movers choosing to leave for that reason. Those aged 65 and above accounted for 34% of movers.

Cost of living is generally low in the state, but with the harsh winters, it is no surprise some might want to leave for sunnier pastures.


Many leaving Wyoming (40%) did so for a new job. Many residents who left had not been there very long. Wyoming received a massive influx of movers during the pandemic. It looks as though the move was not permanent. The largest outflux came from those making under $100,000, and the majority were 55 and older.

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