The coronavirus pandemic has transformed how people work, with the largest shift (both temporary and permanent) to remote work ever. Now that millions of people have a remote-work option, many are rethinking where they live. For people who've lost jobs, they're also rethinking their living arrangements and how to cut down on costs.
Is now a good time to leave an expensive city? What are the pros and cons of moving to a less expensive city? These are a couple of the main questions people have been asking.
As a starting we have started with the important trends: What are the top 5 states people are leaving and where are they moving?
What Are the Top 5 States People Are Leaving?
Whether they’re looking for a cheaper cost of living, more favorable weather or more job opportunities, people are fleeing certain states at much higher rates than the rest of the country, especially in the Northeast. Here are states with the highest percentage of outbound moves in 2019 according to United Van Lines, a moving company that collects data on where people are hiring movers and where they relocate.
1) New Jersey
New Jersey topped out the list of top states people are leaving with nearly 69% of moves being outbound. Surveys show that the state’s high taxes are a driving factor for moves, as well as job-related moves and retirement. New Jersey has the highest property tax rates in the country. About 25% of people leaving New Jersey cited wanting to retire elsewhere, while about 50% said they were moving for work.
Illinois’ percentage of outbound moves was 66%. People leaving Illinois cite high taxes and cost of living in the Chicago area as a driving factor, as well as wanting to escape brutal winters. Local data shows that young people in particular are fleeing Illinois for states where they can earn more or live more cheaply (like other Midwestern states).
3) New York
New York City has the most expensive housing in the nation, and the high cost of living is driving some people to relocate. NY’s percentage of outbound moves was 63% in 2019, and is expected to be even higher in 2020 due to the record number of people leaving the state during the pandemic.
Like New York, housing in Connecticut is expensive, especially in the parts of the state that are close to Manhattan. Connecticut also has high property taxes, motivating people to move to cheaper states. Connecticut’s percentage of outbound moves was 63%.
Although Kansas has cheaper real estate and cost of living than the other top states, limited economic opportunity has pushed many people to leave. United found that more than 50% of outbound movers in Kansas were leaving for jobs, while others wanted to retire in other places or be closer to family. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income in Kansas is a little over $57,000 per year, which is a bit below the national median of $61,000. Economic and other factors pushed Kansas’ outbound move percentage to 58%.
What are the Top 5 States People Are Moving To?
While some states are losing more residents than they’re gaining, others are growing in popularity, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Here are the top 5 states people are moving to according to United's 2019 data.
Idaho’s laidback lifestyle, easy access to nature, and low cost of living have made it an attractive place to move, especially for retirees (who made up 35% of inbound moves to the state). In total, Idaho’s percentage of inbound moves was just over 67% in 2019. It may be even higher in 2020, since during the pandemic people have flocked to the state.
Oregon has become a hub for tech jobs in recent years, drawing young people to the Portland area. People also move to Oregon for its beautiful nature and relatively low cost of living as compared to the rest of the West Coast. Oregon’s overall inbound move percentage was 65% in 2019.
With year-round sunshine and attractively low costs of living (a 2019 study found Arizona was the 2nd most affordable state in the country), AZ has attracted plenty of new arrivals recently. With both big cities like Phoenix and smaller outdoor communities like Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona has options for any lifestyle. Arizona’s overall inbound move percentage was 63 in 2019. .
4) South Carolina
South Carolina’s mild winters and affordable cost of living have drawn new arrivals from more expensive and colder areas. South Carolina is especially popular with retirees, who made up 40% of the state’s inbound moves in 2019. In total, South Carolina’s inbound move percentage was 61%.
Although Washington State’s natural beauty is a fun bonus, the main draw for people moving to the state are jobs in the state’s thriving tech and health industries. Most new arrivals to Washington were of working age, and work was the most common primary reason given for moving. Washington’s overall inbound move percentage was 59% in 2019.
What Should You Do When Moving States?
Besides packing up your things and shipping them to your new home, there are lots of other logistics you need to take care of when moving to a new state. Here are some things you need to do when moving to a new state:
1.Update your residency, voter registration and license: When you move to a new state, you need to update your government-issued IDs, voter registration and state residency. We can help you navigate this with Skip Plus.
2. Register your car in your new state: you’ll need to register your car in your new home state. We can get you a DMV appointment to do this, or you might be able to do it online.
3. Arrange healthcare in your new state: You’ll need to find a new primary care doctor and other medical providers in your new state. If you don’t have health insurance or need to switch insurances when you move, we can help you enroll in insurance with Skip Plus.
4. Get new auto insurance: You may need to switch your auto insurance in your new state if your insurance doesn't cover the state you are moving to. You can compare insurance rates with Skip.
Prepare for a Big Move with Skip
Although the pandemic has upended daily life, it has also given people the freedom to live in places that would have been inaccessible to them when they were working in person. People are leaving expensive states like New York and Connecticut for cheaper and more laid-back places like Idaho, Washington and Oregon. If you’re working remotely and considering moving somewhere with a different lifestyle or more affordable cost of living, we can help you handle the government logistics so you can focus on settling into your new home with Skip Plus.