Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poll Finds Almost Half of New Jersey Adults Want to Move Out of State

This article is from two years ago. The point, however, still stands and I doubt that the results would be much different if a poll were conducted today. The cost of living is no better and probably worse by many measures, especially considering rising unemployment and wage cuts due to the weakened economy.

The only exception I can think of is that housing costs have come down a bit, making houses more affordable for those buying today. But property taxes certainly are no better and continue to push out both residents as well as businesses.


Even New Jerseyans can't stand living in New Jersey, according to a new poll that said nearly half of adults residing in the Garden State want to pull up stakes.

The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll, released Wednesday, found 49 percent of those polled would rather live somewhere else.

New Jersey already is suffering from an image problem and bears the brunt of jokes because of its corruption and pollution problems. But 58 percent of those residents polled said the heavy financial burden of just living in the state is no laughing matter, and that's why they want to leave.

Poll participants cited high property taxes (28 percent), the cost of living (19 percent), state taxes (5 percent) and housing costs (6 percent) as the main reasons they want out. The poll also found that 51 percent of those who expressed a desire to leave planned to do so, with adults under the age of 50 making between $50,000 and $100,000 the most likely to flee.

"If you have the ability to leave and you don't see any possibility for change with the way the state is run — and that's the No. 1 issue here — you have to vote with your feet," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Gilfillan said Corzine also had cut costs by reducing the government workforce, though he noted people would continue to leave New Jersey as baby boomers retired.

"Demographics are only going to accentuate this trend, as the bulk of these folks have yet to leave the workforce," Gilfillan said.

But a Rutgers University report released last week found that New Jersey, with nearly 9 million people, is experiencing a population loss and said the number of residents who had left the state more than tripled from 2002 to 2006, with 231,565 people moving elsewhere.

The Rutgers Regional Report, which examined U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data, noted 72,547 people left in 2006, ranking New Jersey fourth — behind California, Louisiana and New York — among states with the highest population losses in the nation.

High prices aren't the only thing driving people out. New Jersey ex-pats headed in droves to warmer climates, with 124,584 moving to Florida and 29,803 moving to North Carolina. Others (42,459) moved to neighboring Pennsylvania.

That migration depleted the state's tax coffers of an estimated $10 billion in personal income and $680 million in sales tax, according to the Rutgers report.


  1. What I find so interesting about NJ is it has routinely been run by politicians who seem less interested in free market practices than they are in taking control of what they can and bowing to union demands. The reason this is interesting is the state is on the verge of collapsing...free market style. Why do I say this? Well due to taxes and fees, NJ has slowly been pushing businesses and people out of the state, leaving them to offer their money and services to other states. I'm no economic genius, but it doesn't seem like the "NJ system" can succeed when money and people are scarce. With fewer sources of revenue, they'll have to continue to drive taxes up, thus pushing out the last remaining hopes. Are we there yet? I don't think so, but maybe Corzine, Christie, Daggett, and whoever should just once look at the big picture. I know they just wanted to get voted in, but a few more rounds like this and there will be little to gain from being elected.

  2. Great site and man, I'm glad I got out of "Joisey" when I did. I left in 2000 and life has been good ever since.

    Besides being too expensive, the main reason why I left was the people. Besides the arrogant "natives" the immigrants and their driving habits were just too much to bear.

    Will the last one leaving the state please turn off the lights.

  3. If everyone is leaving, why is it STILL so crowded???

  4. Hey Anonymous, what part did you live in and where did you move, out of curiosity?

  5. Absolutely, the only way to go is out.


  6. "If everyone is leaving, why is it STILL so crowded???"

    It's gone from being horribly, freakishly, disgustingly overcrowded, to just freakishly, disgustingly overcrowded.

    It's not that everyone is leaving, though many are. It's more so that many have given thought to leaving. You've got to ask yourself, if more than half of the adults in NJ are considering leaving, why is that? Something must be wrong here.

  7. If everyone is leaving, why is it STILL so crowded??? -
    I'll give you two reasons...
    1) Most who recently bought a home can't afford to leave.
    2)Immigrants, both legal and illegal.

    I lived in Central Jersey, in the Plainfield area. I left in 2000. And no, I'm not telling you where I moved to because I'm already starting to see too many New Jersey license plates in the area :)

    Seriously though, I moved about 2.5 hours west on 78. I went from living paycheck to paycheck to buying a home and establishing a real savings account within 2 years of the move.

    The sad part of my story is where I live now is quickly becoming another NJ. We have the crappy roads, bad drivers and corrupt politicians too.

  8. I cannt believe someone would bother with a post about leaving a state. If you dont like where you live, shut up and leave. Some of us love it here and have no desire to leave. And yes there are tons of reasons Dirty Jeresy sucks but then again there are just as many in other states. Different down sides but down sides none the less.
    I have lived in 6 out of the 50 states in our country. And each one of them had go reasons to leave and good reasons to stay. Take a look into the politics of L.A. and you can see some coruption that would make N.J. look like child's play.

  9. honkeie2-

    There are a lot of people that love Jersey just as it is. That's cool, enjoy it here. But there is a growing chorus of folks who are growing increasingly disheartened with the political and economic decay of their state and are giving serious consideration to moving elsewhere.

    Comparing life in L.A. to NJ is a bit of a red herring; I doubt that anyone considering leaving NJ would list L.A. as being high on their list of destinations.

  10. We are natives of Philly. We moved to NJ in 2002 for job opportunity. We were living paycheck to paycheck and I started to learn exactly where much of our money was going...infamous NJ taxes. In the 7 1/2 years we've lived here, we have made SO many friends. Our children are in the local school district and doing well. We are in a better financial situation now and things are much easier. Now in 2010, we have the chance to move back to Pa., where both of our families are. We need a bigger house for our growing family. I'm torn. I don't want to leave, but feel that the tax situation isn't going to ease. My husband's retirement will be taxed, so too, the kids' college savings plans are taxed here. If we stay, our children might not be able to afford to stay here too. Should we move back to PA?

  11. New Jersey is a festering,disease the police blow,the people are country trash get the fuck out if u can't swallow some toxic waste