New Jersey Lost More Residents In 2023 Than Any Other State for 6th Consecutive Year

More people moved out of New Jersey in 2023 than any other state, making it the sixth consecutive year that the Garden State has held this unwanted distinction.

A study conducted by United Van Lines found that 65% of all moves within New Jersey in 2023 were outward-bound, outpacing second-place Illinois by nearly four percentage points. The top five states on this list included North Dakota, New York, and Michigan.

EJ Antoni, an economist with the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News that New Jersey’s position on the list isn’t a surprise.

“People are fairly sensitive to tax rates when it comes to determining where to live and work,” Antoni explained. “This is becoming increasingly true in an age when more people do not need to be present in a central workplace, like an office building, but can work remotely instead. With that in mind, we would expect to see a state like New Jersey hemorrhaging people.”

He highlighted that New Jersey has the sixth-highest state and local tax burden as a share of income, as well as the third-highest tax collection per capita. Additionally, the state grapples with some of the nation’s highest property taxes and a challenging regulatory environment, factors that contribute to a high cost of living for its residents.

“The Garden State also has the worst business tax climate,” Antoni said.

“Some states, like Tennessee, have very high sales taxes but no income tax, low property taxes, very few other taxes, and an overall low tax burden. Tennessee has the second-highest sales taxes in the country but the lowest state and local tax collections per capita – less than half the level in New Jersey,” Antoni said. “Conversely, there really aren’t any major types of taxes in New Jersey that are low; it has the eighth-highest state sales tax rate, less than half a percentage point below Tennessee.”

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched political parties in 2020 due to disagreements with Democrats, put a big chunk of the blame for the state’s issues on Gov. Phil Murphy.

“Under Governor Murphy’s administration, New Jersey, despite its beautiful shorelines, pinelands, mountains, and farmlands, is witnessing a mass exodus,” Van Drew said. “The governor’s decision to declare New Jersey as a sanctuary state, prioritizing illegal immigrants over hardworking New Jerseyans, is deeply concerning.”

Van Drew criticized the governor’s environmental policies, which he says has driven a wedge between many New Jersey residents. He also didn’t mince words when addressing the state’s Democratic legislature, blasting them for voting to increase their own salaries while New Jersey residents grappled with continuous toll hikes and some of the nation’s highest taxes.

“This is a classic example of the detrimental impact of liberal Democrat leadership on our cities and states that prevent American families from getting ahead and it’s no wonder that we are decreasing in population over it,” he said.

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