BERNARDS TOWNSHIP,  NJ -- More residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state in 2018, with 66.8 percent of New Jersey moves being outbound, according to United Van Lines’ 42nd annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

The Garden State moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1 and has has ranked in the top 10 for the past decade. The primary reasons cited for moving out of New Jersey were job change (34.73%), retirement (34.51%), lifestyle (17.36%) and  health (6.15%), according to the study. 

“Many of us love New Jersey too much to leave," Bernards Township Mayor Carol Bianchi told TAPinto Basking Ridge, "but it is getting harder to tolerate the inaction on important issues, among them rational affordable housing legislation."

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Nearby Connecticut (62%) and New York (61.5%) were No. 3 and No. 4 respectively and were both ranked among the top 10 outbound states for the fourth consecutive year.

"Taxes and pensions continue to be major issues," Bianchi said. "but forced overdevelopment all over N.J. will create problems with infrastructure and traffic which are irreversible.” 

A leading motivation behind these migration patterns across all regions is a career change, as the survey showed approximately one out of every two people who moved in the past year moved for a new job or company transfer.

The top outbound states for 2018 were:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. Connecticut
  4. New York
  5. Kansas
  6. Ohio
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Iowa
  9. Montana
  10. Michigan

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West. We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Seattle.”

The 2018 study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. and ranks states based off the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves.