Unless you have been under the Palisades for the last 9 years, you have noticed that New York & New Jersey are losing population.  Since 2010, the state of New York has lost over 1 million people bringing its population to roughly 19.8 million.  I can’t believe the “I Love NY” people don’t mention this fun fact.  Our area has consistently been on the list of top outbound states for the past 10 years.

The numbers just came in and we continue to hemorrhage people.

In the just released National Movers study for the year 2018, New York and New Jersey are both in the top 5 once again for outbound moves.

#1 New Jersey
#2 Illinois
#3 Connecticut
#4 New York
#5 Kansas

Full list

New York – 61.5 % Outbound Moves

This is very much an upstate – downstate issue, with most areas above Orange County losing population with a few exceptions.  Essentially, people are leaving upstate due to lack of economic opportunities and are leaving downstate due to the high cost of living and the shrinking middle class.

Orange County, New York.  Photo by Emanuel Hahn

The top states New Yorkers are moving to are California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and naturally our southern cousins, Florida.  These typically non-union states offer cheaper living, warmer temps and increased quality of life (minus the diverse culture).

New York to Florida, while this trend is nothing new, these new stats show the trend is increasing.  An interesting paradox, at the same time New York has been losing population it also increased tourism.  Which begs the question, is New York making the environment more conducive for tourist than actual residents?

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New Jersey – 66.8 % Outbound Moves

99 Hudson in Jersey City looking at downtown Manhattan. Image by NYNJ.COM

The most densely populated state continues to lose people, except for Jersey City and surrounding areas.  People are cashing out of their high-priced north Jersey homes and moving to less expensive places, such as Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

For every two people who leave New Jersey, only one person is moving in.  So why is everyone leaving?  The leading contributors to the New Jersey exodus are cost of living/housing, taxes and tolls.  In the wise words of living legend Billy Joel “Who needs a house out in Hackensack?… Good luck movin’ up, ’cause I’m moving out”.

We reached out to Sheryl Santi, an agent for Wheaton/Bekins Van Lines and President of Santi Express a moving and storage company in New York for over 40 years, for some insight on how local businesses are doing.

“The rise of interstate moves is bittersweet as we stay busy with long distance moves, long-term it’s unsustainable.  Our business is word of mouth and referral driven, this means our happy customers are spread out instead of local. We have also noticed a trend as the price per square foot goes higher and higher, people are temporarily renting or buying smaller homes, which in return has been good for our storage end of the business. With all of these changes, I am still very optimistic. This is an extremely desirable place to live, there is only one New York and it’s metro area.”

Near capacity 10,000 sq ft Climate-Controlled Storage in Valley Cottage, NY. Image by Santi Express

Please don’t expect to frolic through New York as if it’s some ghost town. Its population is still the fourth greatest in the US only behind Texas, California and Florida.

At the end of the day, our area has the largest city in America, which aside from its size, is a mecca for cuisine, fashion, media, and a cultural capital with no shortage of tourists and great locals.  We’ll be fine.

Are you planning on leaving New York or New Jersey?

Written by Seth Goldstein / Seth@NYNJ.COM / © NYNJ.COM