New Jersey ties with New York for highest outbound population
While Rutgers students may be accustomed to the cold winters and constant traffic in New Jersey, these factors may have contributed to the influx of the population that left the state last year.
New Jersey had a 63 percent outbound population in 2016, tied with New York, according to United Van Lines 40th Annual National Movers Study. Connecticut and Pennsylvania followed closely behind with 60 and 56 percent, respectively.
“Frankly, it’s quite understandable,” said Chakeema Cruickshank, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
Most of those who left the state reported doing so for employment, according to the study.
This year’s data reflects retirees’ location preferences as well. United Van Lines is seeing more retirees than ever choosing to relocate and new retirement hubs are popping up in Western and Southern states as a result, according to the site.
More than half of the people who left New Jersey were over the age of 55. Twenty-two percent were older than 65, according to the site.
Kiplinger, a well-known personal finance magazine, ranked New Jersey as the fourth worst state for retirement in the United States, according to their website.
New Jersey is 1 of 2 states that collects inheritance and state taxes on the state level. This brings financial troubles for retirees, leading them to migrate out of the garden state.
High property taxes with poor public services, high rent, traffic, pollution and weather are other factors that lead people to leave New Jersey, said Ali Chaudhary, a professor in the Department of Sociology.
The average annual property tax in the United States last year was $2,823. In contrast, the property tax in Essex County averages $12,051, according to victoriacarter.com.
New Jersey residents also pay higher property taxes compared to other states. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were cited as the three states with the highest tax load in the country, according to a recent article in 24/7 Wall St.
“New Jersey is expensive to live in and property taxes are much higher than average,” Cruickshank said. “Many families cannot afford these conditions and it’s hard to sustain a family with all these expenses.”
The national average for monthly rent in the United States is about $1,100 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,250 for a two-bedroom apartment, whereas the average cost of rent in New Jersey is $1,309 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
This report identifies New Jersey as one of the top five most expensive places to rent in the United States, according to NJ Advance Media.
This means that a renter in New Jersey must earn at least $25.17 an hour to be able to afford the market price for a two-bedroom rental in the Garden State, which makes it difficult for minimum wage workers to afford to live in-state.
Sienna Jones, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said living in New Jersey is just too expensive.
“It’s a lot cheaper down south, I bet all those people moved down there,” Jones said.
Southern states saw a high number of people moving in, with 53 percent of total moves being inbound, according to the National Movers Study press release. Three out of the 10 highest inbound states are southern states — South Carolina, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.
“It is so much cheaper down there,” Jones said. “The amount I am paying to live in my house now, if we paid that price down south, we would be living in a mansion.”
Jones and Cruickshank both said they believe over-population also contributed to the state’s high outbound population.
New Jersey is ranked the eleventh most populated state, according to infoplease.com.
Cruickshank said that despite these studies, she believes the pros still outweigh the cons.
“Jersey offers so many job opportunities, especially since we’re so close to big cities like New York City, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia. And it especially helps students with internships and job opportunities because it allows for more options,” she said.
Kayon Amos is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in human resources. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.