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Are You Building in One of the States Americans Leave Most?

Housing Markets

Are You Building in One of the States Americans Leave Most?

January 5, 2021
New Jersey skyline
Photo: dbvirago

United Van Lines analyzed its moving data to identify the top states Americans are fleeing most. For the third year in a row, New Jersey claimed the top spot with an outbound rate of 70%. But two other states come close at a 67% outbound rate: New York and Illinois. Residents’ main reasons for leaving New Jersey are high taxes, home prices, and cost of living, according to’s latest data found the average home price in New Jersey to be $442,500 in November—just about $100,000 more than the national average.

As many people are able to work entirely remotely for the first time during the pandemic, some are seeking to relocate to more affordable places to fire up their laptops.

Folks are also moving out of New York, where the median home price was $570,050, and Illinois, where homes go for $249,500, according to data. And they're going to the South and the West, in particular states that offer a lower cost of living, warmer weather, and strong, local economies.

Those relocating during the pandemic are more likely to be retirees and younger workers seeking high-paying jobs in areas with strong economies, says economist and public policy professor Michael Stoll at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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