People Are Fleeing Some States for Others: Who Are the Big Winners and Losers?

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Everyone’s on the move these days. A big factor driving people to move from state to state within the US has to do with economic prospects. While some states are seeing massive influxes of new residents thanks to their growing economies, others are losing their populations because of limited opportunities. In other areas, the cost of living is simply too high for some people to continue living there.

Which states are the biggest winners and losers? Keep in mind that one state isn’t better or worse than another–and in another twenty or thirty years, we’ll probably see these trends reverse as the current popular areas become over-crowded and expensive.

States with the Most Outbound Population

The two states losing the most population are New Jersey and Illinois. New Jersey, right next to the number-three population loser, New York, is often seen as being in the shadow of the larger state that it borders. New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the entire country, sporting more cities than Texas. It’s easy to see why people might be moving away from the highly urbanized, expensive state in the shadow of New York City.

Illinois, meanwhile, is home to the third-largest city in the US, Chicago. The extremely cold temperatures, the high cost of living, and the extremely cutthroat business culture in the state all contribute to driving people out. The state has a projected negative population growth for the next several years, even as job growth crawls to a halt.

States With the Most Inbound Population

The states seeing the most inbound population movement are Oregon and Idaho. Oregon, home to Portland, is a fast-growing state in the Pacific Northwest, sharing a border with Washington. Over the next five years, household incomes in the state are expected to rise much faster than the rate of neighboring states. The biggest company in the state, Nike, is projecting massive growth in the next few years.

Meanwhile, Idaho is seeing very strong prospects for growth in the coming years. The state’s major industries of lumber and wood, paper, mining, chemicals, and food processing are all projected to see growth. There is also a growing tech presence in the state, with one of the biggest semiconductor manufacturers in the US, Micron, based out of this Midwestern locale. The industries have made Idaho a massive draw for newcomers looking to earn more for themselves or their families.