Americans Can't Escape These States Fast Enough
In today's positive job economy, it might be hard to believe there are many states where people are struggling to find work. Still, it's the truth. Of America's 50 states, many are experiencing a massive exodus as citizens head to other states with better opportunities and sometimes lower populations.
New York City, Los Angeles and other huge cities may have once been places where opportunities never ran out, but the latest statistics tell a different story entirely. If you’re thinking of relocating, be sure to avoid these problem states that are losing massive numbers of residents.
Unfortunately for Oklahomans, the state is pretty much the perfect place for tornadoes to strike. You may not think this is a reason to flee — after all, plenty of states face their own unique tendencies for natural disasters — but it's possible it plays a part in the state's 47.4% departure rate.
Pennsylvania is one of the most historically important states in America, dating back to the very beginning of the United States as one of the 13 original colonies and states. The Keystone State remains as essential to the nation today as it was three centuries ago, but some residents aren't pleased.
Minnesota is in a unique position as part of the Midwest, the Great Lakes area and the Northwest regions of the United States. It seems the Land of 10,000 Lakes has a lot of different types of opportunities all blending together.
Home to the Indy 500 and the Indianapolis Colts, the state of Indiana seems like a sports lover's dream. But not everyone loves sports, of course. Sandwiched between Illinois and Ohio, Indiana hasn't been able to maintain a steady increase in its population in recent years.
26. New Mexico
Guilty of having the fourth-worst unemployment rate in the nation — a concerning 4.8% — New Mexico can't help but lose plenty of residents to states with better jobs with higher wages. With a 48.9% departure rate, New Mexico has seen 876 different families leave the state in the past year.
25. Rhode Island
The smallest state in America by square footage but the second most densely populated, Rhode Island's slow and steady increase in out-of-state moves probably has to do with logistics. It's a beautiful place, the residents are moderately well-off and there's not much to complain about — yet 49.2% are moving away, on average.
Things aren't going well for Mississippi residents these days. Much to the dismay of the state's occupants, the unemployment rate sits at the second-worst in the entire U.S. — a dismal 5.5% — and the state is experiencing one of the highest exodus rates in the nation — 49.4%.
Sitting at an (almost) even split, Arkansas residents have seemingly reached an impasse: 49.7% are clamoring to leave the state, but 50.3% of recent moves across the state's boundaries have been inward instead of outward. The state is practically divided evenly.
Maine has been around for almost two centuries now, but something is keeping people from moving there. It has deep historical roots, great opportunities for those wanting to work out on the water and plenty of the best seafood. Still, 50.6% of residents involved in a move in the last year couldn't get out of Maine fast enough.
Missouri might be known as the Show Me State, but it seems like more and more people are looking to see less of the Midwestern state. Whether it’s because of the state’s failure to revitalize the city of St. Louis or the seemingly unending bouts of bad weather, Missouri is losing residents at a rate of 51%.
20. North Dakota
North Dakota is incredibly rich in natural resources and has countless stunning natural landmarks, but the population of the state has seen a steady decline in the past few years. The reason for this decline lies in the state's aforementioned national resources, actually. When oil prices go down, jobs disappear in the area.
Like its neighbor, West Virginia, the state of Virginia is struggling to keep its residents content. With a population of more than 8 million, the state has to make sure there are plenty of opportunities and resources readily available for residents. If that doesn’t happen, you get a mass exodus of 51.6%.
At a 51.7% departure rate, Utah is one of only a few states sitting at an almost even split — half of the human migration is coming in, while the other half is going out. These numbers are evidence of an imbalance currently going on across the nation. Some states have ample opportunities, while others are lacking.
17. West Virginia
Strangely, West Virginia is about as close as you can get to the nation's capital without actually being in D.C., but the unemployment and migration rates are some of the worst in the country. At 4.8% and 51.8%, respectively, these numbers clearly show that something needs to be done.
Technically part of both the Great Plains and the Midwest, Nebraska is a unique little slice of history located in one of the most sparse areas of the United States. Nicknamed the Cornhusker State, Nebraska boasts a large number of residents who are involved in either agriculture or freight.
Thanks to its unique state lines, 16 of Maryland's 23 counties actually touch Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean. That sounds beautiful — and it is — but residents of Maryland might have a different story to tell.
Originally part of Virginia before seceding in 1792, the state of Kentucky has seen a steady decline in population in the 2010s. Currently facing a rate of human migration that sits at 53.5%, Kentucky needs to think of a way to keep its residents from fleeing the state before it's too late.
Comprised of equal parts forest and farm and bordered by two Great Lakes, Wisconsin sits between Minnesota and Michigan. The state prides itself on its plethora of breweries and its rich natural history. Unfortunately, however, these things can't seem to convince people to stay.
A wonderful combination of Canadian, French, African and American cultures, Louisiana is one of the most vibrant and original states in the United States. Upon closer inspection, however, things aren't as pleasant as they may seem from the outside. Louisiana has been dealing with high levels of human migration and a very high unemployment rate in recent years.
It's baffling to consider that there are more people in Los Angeles County, California, than there are in more than 40 other American states. At a total population of nearly 40 million, California is the country's most populated state by a landslide. That number is starting to get smaller, however.
Tied with Montana, the state of Michigan also seems to have a problem holding onto its residents. You’re probably familiar with the many serious problems associated with the state’s largest city, Detroit, but you may not know that 55% of residents’ moves in the last year were to other states.
Montana is one of the key staples of Northwestern America. Home to beautiful mountains and plenty of other unbeatable feats of nature, Montana is the fourth-largest state based on square mileage but the third-least densely populated when examining the actual population of the state.
Despite having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country — an impressive 2.6% — the Midwestern state of Iowa can't seem to keep people from leaving. In the last year, 55.5% of movers were headed outward instead of moving elsewhere within the state lines.
The most populous state in the New England area, Massachusetts is home to Boston as well as all kinds of beautiful coastal cities along the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 80% of the population residing in or around Boston, it's fair to say the city is what put the state on the popularity map.
With a population nearing 12 million, Ohio surprises by not being as unassuming as it seems. A large number of people confined inside a relatively small state is basically a recipe for disaster, which is probably why 56.5% of the moves in 2018 were people who chose to put Ohio in their rearview mirrors.
Dorothy and Toto might not be in Kansas anymore, but neither are 58.7% of the state's former residents who recently moved from the Sunflower State. Despite a relatively low unemployment rate, Kansas doesn’t seem to be able to tempt locals into staying for the wide-open spaces.
4. New York
The home state of the most populous city in the United States is obviously one of the most recognized states in the country — at least for now. According to United Van Lines, 61.5% of the moves across state lines in New York in 2018 were to get people out of the state and not move them into it.
The southernmost state in the country's New England region, Connecticut seems like an incredibly peaceful place to live. Filled with beautiful coastal towns, excellent schools like Yale and plenty of eclectic attractions, the state certainly has a lot to offer.
Illinois, also known as the Prairie State, is a Midwestern staple. Home to the city of Chicago — called Second City due to its smaller-scale New York City vibes — the state has a dismal departure rate of 65.9%. It seems the Great Lakes aren't great enough to keep folks settled in the state.
1. New Jersey
Located on the other side of Lower Manhattan's Hudson River, New Jersey is the number one state people can't seem to leave fast enough. According to United Van Lines' 2018 study, 66.8% of moves across the state's borders were to move residents to other states.
And These Are the Top 5 States Americans Are Flocking To
If people are leaving these 30 states in droves, they have to be going somewhere, right? Of course. There are a handful of states that offer the right mix of economic opportunity, low cost of living and appealing climate to entice both relocating millennials and retirees alike. But with some of the obvious heavy-hitters — like New York and California — knocked off the list, which states are the most alluring?
Everything’s bigger in Texas — including the droves of Americans moving to the Lone Star State. According to Business Insider, over 61,000 people moved to Texas between 2016 and 2017, and, in recent years, that number has continued to climb. In 2017, San Antonio, rife with cybersecurity start-ups, saw its population surge over the 1.5 million mark.
Like Texas, Washington has seen an increase in its population — over 62,000 new residents between 2016 and 2017 — thanks in large part to the arrival of a young, eager workforce. In 2016, millennials flocked to Washington, particularly Seattle, which plays host to the headquarters of several giants, including Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and Boeing.
3. North Carolina
In North Carolina, both the younger workforce and number of retirees are on the rise in fairly equal measure. Charlotte, perhaps the most well-known city in the state, has become a hub of banking and, there and elsewhere, the tech, pharmaceutical and food processing industries are beginning to form the state's economic backbone. It seems the Tar Heel State — dubbed as such for its long history of producing naval stores — needs a new nickname.
If you thought the Grand Canyon was something to marvel at, you clearly haven’t heard about Arizona’s staggering population boom. According to Business Insider, the state gained a staggering 98,843 people between 2016 and 2017, making Arizona the second fastest-growing state in the U.S.
They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Year-round warmth, beautiful beaches, golf courses that stretch as far as the eye can see — all of those elements make Florida a long-time top choice amongst retirees. Between 2016 and 2017, the state gained a whopping 145,094 people, according to Business Insider.