Mass exit from NJ? Don’t believe the click-bait

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Much is being made in the media about NJ ranking #1 in percentage of people moving out vs. percentage of people moving in.

See News12, NJ Business Magazine, CNBC and USA Today. Journalists are citing the 2018 National Movers Study. The data comes from United Van Lines, the nation’s largest household goods mover, according to its press release.

Topping the list of outbound moves sounds like people are fleeing the state. The actual difference between outbound and inbound moves is 1,488 households.

We do not know family size, though we can assume that the total number is 3,000 or more. In a state of 9 million people, the net loss of a few thousand households is a small percentage.

The same study showed New York experienced a net loss of 1,784 household units. Connecticut, a small state, was down 830 net; Massachusetts lost-on-net 567; Michigan lost-on-net 508.

Illinois and California had a greater exodus. Then again, like New York, those are much more populous states than NJ.

To provide a sense of perspective, the Morris County Economic Development Corporation plotted the household shipments in and outbound in states with a similar population to New Jersey.

Household Moves in States of 7.5M – 10.5M

In a CNBC post published January 17th, entitled Why people are fleeing this state more than any other, the author leads with New Jersey.

New Jersey does have the greatest percentage difference between inbound and outbound, but not the numbers themselves.  Without explaining that, CNBC goes on to say that the top reason residents left was for a professional opportunity, i.e. listing “job” as the deciding factor.

What was left unsaid, is that “job” is the primary reason that people came into the state as well.  See chart below.

 

 

On the doughnut chart, the inner ring shows the relative percentages of those moving into the state.    This can be compared with the outer ring which shows the relative percentages of those moving out of the state.

The data also tells us that New Jersyans either stay put or move themselves across state lines.  The traffic in/out of NJ is modest compared to other states.  One might also guess that, because we are an immigrant-friendly state, many households pack the car or rent a truck to move in.

When they gain enough wealth, they can afford to hire someone to move them out. If there’s an outflow of wealth from this state, it’s because that is why people came here.

Yet according to the United Van Lines data, the affluent move in and out of NJ at the same rate.  Apparently, the system is working.

MorristownGreen.com contributor Beth Kujan (d.b.a. Tech Stevedore LLC) is responsible for committees and programs at the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), part of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.

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