Over the last four decades, United Van Lines has published its National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration trends over the past year, revealed a mass exodus of residents from New Jersey than any other state in 2018.

Last year, New Jersey displaced Illinois to take the top spot on the list of most-moved from states. According to the study, 66.8% of New Jersey’s moves in 2018 were outbound, the highest rate across the country.

Illinois (65.9%), Connecticut (62%), New York (61.5%), and Kansas (58.7%) were included on the top five most moved-from states.

Among age demographics, New Jersey had a great year in attracting millennials, the state saw 7.97% more moves to the state than moves away. However, baby boomers were leaving the state 10% more often than arrived. 

Americans Are On The Move, But Where Are They Move To And From?

Some of the reasons for moving out of  New Jersey, according to the National Movers Study, were new jobs (34.73%), retirement (34.51%), and family (20.44%), followed by lifestyle (17.36%) and by health (6.15%).

More than two-thirds of the people who moved to New Jersey in 2018 (61.84%) arrived because of new employment 

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, our study allows us to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation throughout the country, year after year,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “These findings accurately reflect not only where Americans are moving to and from, but also the reasons why.”

Meanwhile, Ohio, Massachusetts, Iowa, Montana, and Michigan were bumped off the list of the most-moved from states.

Vermont, whose population is the second-smallest in the country, was the only state in the Northeast to see improved inbound migrations.

Four Western states were on the top five moved to list — Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona.

The Carolinas, Washington, South Dakota and the District of Columbia were very close in making the top inbound list.

“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 UCLA.

“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, DC, and Seattle," Stoll said. 

The study coincides with a 2017 report that New Jersey lost population for the first time in a decade. With a historically low birth rate and population growth that is stalling, New Jersey could find itself in economic trouble and the loss of Congressional seats in the coming years.